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Accommodation rated hardest challenge for travel bookers

But Global Business Travel Association says Airbnb generally meets duty of care standards for extended business stays

Pictured: GBTA's report Extended Stay Accommodations: What Travel Buyers need to Know has been published

Finding the right type of accommodation has been listed as the hardest challenge for travel buyers when organising extended stays for business travellers - but don't rule out Airbnb.

A study by Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has found back-and-forth conversations with delegates about where to stay can become "labour and resource intensive" for travel buyers, but it reveals community rentals are mostly fit for purpose.

Report author Monica Sanchez, GBTA's director of research, said challenges arise when a property has not been vetted by the travel programme or if travellers book for themselves.

"In general the various types of extended stay accommodations including traditional hotels, extended stay hotels, community rentals or serviced apartments can meet all of the duty of care standards in place for an organisation as long as a proper vetting process is in place to evaluate the safety of the accommodations," she said.

GBTA surveyed more than 270 American and Canadian travel buyers on the topic and revealed the findings in its report Extended Stay Accommodations: What Travel Buyers Need to Know.

Sanchez said it was important travel buyers understood the "unique needs" of their delegates for their extended stay business trips, as well as the available resources.

She also stressed that travel buyers should avoid against letting delegates organise their own extended stay accommodation and itinerary.

"This poses a number of potential challenges including lost visibility, increased likelihood of poor decisions as a result of limited knowledge, and reduced productivity," Sanchez said.

"When a travel buyer has no visibility into a traveller’s itinerary, there is very little that can be done to offer support if needed. The duty of care implications can be more severe in the case of an emergency such as weather, health or security-related issues. Booking through approved channels in conjunction with regular communication between travellers and their travel program minimises these risks."

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