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The Rise & Rise of Air BnB from homes to business travel and luxury

To many Air BnB is seen either as a tech innovator or tech disruptor.
The San Francisco-based home-sharing site,started by 20 somethings who enrolled in the Y Combinator program to incubate their startup idea is now active in a staggering 34,000 cities in 190 countries and has more than 1 million listings on its platform.

from left to right >Joe Gebbia, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer; (centre) Nathan Blecharczyk, Co-Founder Chief Technical Officer,Brian Chesky,Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Nowhere in the world has more accommodation available on Airbnb than Paris. Now the home-sharing website that has transformed budget travel to the French capital is giving its super-deluxe hotels a fright too.

"The Paris market is going to get very difficult," said Didier le Calvez, managing director of the Bristol Hotel. Along with bosses of the city's other "palaces", he denounces Airbnb as a menace that enjoys an unfair advantage.

A trawl of the Paris region's 50,000 Airbnb offerings - there were only 7,000 across the whole of France in 2012 -suggests le Calvez and his colleagues have reason to worry.

Airbnb offers between 380 and 400 Paris properties at over 500 euros a night. Of those, about 40 charge over 1,000 euros ($1,090).

Add in the attraction of individuality, anonymity and in some cases extra beds, and that puts them potentially in competition with the 1,000 euro a night Bristol and half a dozen other high-end Paris hotels, which have about 1,500 rooms to offer in total.

The Paris luxury sector is already worried about a surge in competition from newly opening hotels.

Consultants JLL Hotels & Hospitality reckon that capacity will be 60 percent greater in 2018 than a decade earlier.

London & Edinburgh

Only Last year, Airbnb published its first study of economic impacts at a nationwide scale. The United Kingdom study reviewed impacts across the country, as well as within London and Edinburgh. In 2013, the Airbnb community generated US$824 million in economic activity in the UK and supported 11,600 jobs.

The study also found that 80% of Airbnb hosts in the UK rent out only the home they live in—their primary residence—and use the money they earn to help afford the increasing costs of living. Airbnb is also promoting innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the country by supporting hosts who are self-employed or freelancers.

As in other places, Airbnb travelers in the UK stay longer and spend more than typical visitors. These travelers are seeking authentic, local experiences in cities across the UK.

Highlights from the study include:
The typical Airbnb host occasionally rents out only the property in which he or she actually lives. About 80% of Airbnb hosts rent out the home they live in, and the typical host earns US$4,600 per year by renting 33 nights per year. And 63% of hosts said that their Airbnb income helped them pay bills they would otherwise struggle to pay.
Hosting enables UK residents to be more entrepreneurial and pursue nontraditional forms of work. Approximately 42 percent of hosts are self-employed, freelancers, or part-time workers, many of whom say Airbnb helped them pursue these careers.
Airbnb also grows and diversifies tourism in the UK, appealing to a new segment of travelers seeking authentic and personal experiences. In fact, 85 percent of Airbnb guests want to “live like locals.”
Airbnb guests stay on average 4.6 nights (compared to 3.1 nights for typical visitors to the UK) and spend twice as much over the course of their trips ($1,496 compared to $713 for the average visitor).
In London, 72 percent of Airbnb properties are located outside the main hotel areas, and 41 percent of visitor spending occurs in the neighborhood they stay in. Popular host recommendations for guests in London include the boroughs ofCamden, Greenwich, Hackney, Islington, Southwark, and Richmond upon Thames.

In Edinburgh, 78 percent of Airbnb properties are located outside the main hotel areas, and 44 percent of visitor spending occurs in the neighborhood they stay in. Guests in Edinburgh enjoyed visiting Old Town and New Town, and North East neighborhood, among others.

This study outlines how Airbnb is enabling cities across the UK to grow stronger and provide an economic boost to residents at the same time.

"We are far bigger in Europe now than we are in the U.S. This concept has been growing faster there. Actually, over half of our business is now based in Europe."-Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb co-founder and CTO.

Increasingly, people are renting their main homes, too. “Where the super-rich have listed secondary residences for some time, now they’re starting to offer their main homes while staying in other properties or holidaying,” Olivier Gremillon Airbnb’s European business manager

Business Travel Corporate Travel

Traditionally hotel business travel, has been th domain of corporate hotel chains Hilton Mariot and IHG , though times are changing.

"The corporate community’s response to Air BnB business travel program has been staggering business travelers increasingly want to redefine the business trip,” said Marc McCabe, Airbnb for Business Lead. “The average business travel stay on Airbnb is 6.8 days, which shows how customers are looking for a mix of business and leisure, and often adding a weekend to explore a new destination.”

There are now more than one thousand businesses from over 35 countries around the world who are formally making Airbnb part of their corporate travel programs. Among this roster are Fortune 1000 companies, including Google, who are allowing employees to benefit from Airbnb’s wide range of accommodations available in more than 190 countries.

Airbnb for Business, helps companies of all sizes cater to their employees’ diverse travel needs. The program allows business travelers to directly book Airbnb accommodations and automatically expense them back to their employers. The recently introduced suite of travel management tools provide travel managers with visibility into employee travel itineraries, financial reporting data, and centralized billing to improve the business travel experience for all.

The global launch of the Business Travel program in July this year, comes on the heels of phenominal 700 percent growth, that Airbnb’s Business Travel program has experienced over the past year. Since the program’s launch last July, more than 250 companies have joined Airbnb’s Business Travel program, including Google, TBWA, Twilio, and SoundCloud.

Airbnb are becoming known as the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, today announced 15/08/2015 that they signed 500 new companies, to its Airbnb for Business program within 24 hours of launching the new global travel management suite on July 20 2015.

"We were particularly impressed that Airbnb’s new Business Travel product suite allows you to uncover unique locations for temporary housing, team offsites and conventions where there is an opportunity to build closer working relationships by sharing accommodations in a casual and friendly environment. Like Box, Airbnb is making it easier for business users on the go and we're looking forward to trying out the product and expanding our relationship," Jeff Mannie, VP, Controller & CAO at Box.

Further Reading
The On Demand Economy Uber Taxis & Air BnB

Hospitality On the Go; Airbnb Messaging Comes to Apple Watch