Airbnb and Uber Partner with Concur to Enable Next Generation of Business Travel | Concur

New Partnerships Reflect Growing Collaborative Consumption Among Business Travelers                  

airbnb_logo_detailLos Angeles, Calif., July 29, 2014 – Concur, the world’s leading provider of spend management solutions and services, announced Airbnb and Uber as the latest partners to join its growing platform to improve business travel and streamline expenses . With this partnership, the benefits of collaborative consumption are now available to the business world: Business travelers are given easier ways to book their trips, and complete their expenses, while finance and travel managers maintain greater accuracy, visibility and manageability.

“This new generation of platform partners reflects the transformation taking place for today’s business customer,” said Tim MacDonald, executive vice president at Concur. “By partnering with these innovative companies, we are building a connected platform that radically improves the experience for the business traveler. With Airbnb and Uber, we are enabling, in business travel, what consumers already enjoy about collaborative consumption in their leisure. Capturing this spend then gives companies greater real-time transparency into traveler expenditure and itineraries.” 

The partnerships with Airbnb and Uber signal increasing momentum for the expanding list of partners joining the Concur platform like United, Marriott, IHG and Avis to bring seamless connections to their customers for direct bookings and spend management.  Specifics around momentum include:

  • More and more business travelers are booking Airbnb properties:  27x the number of transactions for Airbnb captured in Concur expense reports this year over last year. In order to accommodate the increasing number of business travelers seeking cost-effective non-traditional accommodations, later this year, Airbnb will release an integration through Concur TripLink, enabling employers to gain full visibility into each booking to ensure Duty of Care requirements are met.
  • Business travelers are increasingly adopting Uber for ground transportation: 5x year-over-year growth in Uber ridership captured in Concur expense reports. Uber’s integration with the Concur platform will provide a connected and effortless experience for all Concur business travelers that use Uber. These travelers will be able to request, ride, pay, and automatically expense – all from their mobile phone. The integration between Uber and the Concur platform will enhance and expand customer visibility into ground transportation spend.
  • In addition, American Express is partnering with Concur and Uber to enable American Express Corporate Card Clients in the US to automatically enroll their employees to capture Uber receipts within Concur and have immediate visibility into the spend. This three-way integration between the Concur platform, Uber and American Express will be available this fall.

via Airbnb and Uber Partner with Concur to Enable Next Generation of Business Travel | Concur.

Booking.com launches rental site Villas.com

May 13.2014

Major product extension for Booking.com as it launches its first standalone brand in the guise of Villas.com.

The Priceline-owned accommodation giant officially unveiled the site this week in a bid to capture more of the vacation rental market beyond its existing coverage on the main Booking.com brand.

The Villas.com site has almost 150,000 properties listed, covering villas, apartments and rental homes.

The company says it  built the site because it understands the “big difference between booking a room in a hotel and planning a do-it-yourself vacation”.

Although Villas.com has significantly fewer properties than HomeAway (the US-based rental pioneer currently has around 952,000), customers will be able to book all properties from within the site (with instant confirmation, according to the website) rather than often having to secure reservations through the owner or a third party offline.

In some respects the new Villas.com is a simple re-skinning of the Booking.com site with only relevant properties – it has the same functionality, filtering tools and image galleries, although there are some minor differences to the design and user experience.

Airbnb logo

Airbnb logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is the strategy to provide a dedicated site for the product itself which is likely to capture the attention, not least with HomeAway, TripAdvisor and Airbnb gaining traction (and making acquisitions) in recent years.

Such a move will also not come as the biggest surprise to those watching the sector and seeing the rise of other players.

Booking.com has been gradually adding more vacation rental properties to the main site for the best part of 18 months, adding to the small numbers of bungalow and cottage rentals it had featured for many years.

In January 2013 it struck a deal with InterHome to start plugging in properties from around the world (an initial 2,500 was announced at the time).

It is unclear as yet if Booking.com is contracting all 146,000 properties itself or has simply extended the existing vacation rental agreements it has to bolster the portfolio number.

Villas.com claims to have around properties featured from some 25,000 destinations in 176 countries around the world. Many of the properties listed have guest reviews imported from the existing Booking.com website.

via Booking.com launches rental site Villas.com.

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Airbnb Vs. New York City: The Defining Fight of the Sharing Economy – Skift

The sharing economy, or as some call it the collaborative consumption economy, is still in its early infancy and companies like AirbnbLyftRelayRides and their peers are the hottest topic in the startup world right now.

The legality of these startups has been in the grey from the start, as they push against the incumbent laws and regulations, and New York City, by being a dense urban environment where sharing comes naturally, has become a very high profile platform for some of these fights.

Airbnb is the biggest fight of them all, with rentals being a war game in our teeming city. Every generation that moves into New York City has its own rental stories, and ours is Airnbnb vs NYC.

via Airbnb Vs. New York City: The Defining Fight of the Sharing Economy – Skift.