If you have not made short-term vacation rentals available to your business travelers, it may be time to do so as this type of accommodation seems to have grown in popularity during the pandemic.
According to a Bloomberg report, people seeking to escape the confines of their homes went road-tripping to nearby vacation rentals in surprisingly strong numbers in 2020, with short-term rental sites like Booking.com, VRBO, and Airbnb all seeing a surge in their domestic bookings despite the travel slowdown. As business travelers hit the road again, some may prefer to stay in these home-like properties because of their experiences in 2020. They also may view them as a safer option, affording them more privacy and isolation from other people than a hotel stay.
Short-term rental accommodations are an excellent option for business travelers since they deliver on two key priorities employees consider when making their lodging selections for a business trip: price and experience. From a pricing standpoint, short-term rentals may offer cheaper lodging than hotels. From an experience perspective, it can be a more attractive choice for frequent travelers craving a personal touch as they often provide additional living and workspace and fully equipped kitchens.
A balancing act
As travel managers endeavor to meet their travelers’ demands, they must do so without compromising their organizations’ duty of care for employees. Not all short-term rental providers are created equal in this regard, so speak to your travel management company about the options to make sure they can be easily integrated with your risk management program.
Booking.com, which offers a variety of short-term rental properties, including aparthotels, bed and breakfasts, and guesthouses, has a direct partnership with American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). Therefore, its short-term rental property inventory is available through our channels. Whether travelers use the online booking tool or a travel counselor to make a booking, all trip itinerary and expense details automatically will be captured by our systems, giving you greater visibility into your travelers’ whereabouts and spend.
Booking.com takes security as seriously as we do. All of its partners are screened against global sanction lists when they join and provide additional identity information to help protect your business travelers. Booking.com invites properties to feature all the safety and health protocols they have implemented to mitigate travelers’ concerns over hygiene and security. This information is displayed in our booking tools, offering an extra level of reassurance for travelers.
And since bookings are made instantaneously (i.e., there’s no need to wait for Hallie the host to reply before a booking can be finalized), travelers can make last-minute plans, if need be.
A solution for longer stays
Now there may be times when a traveler needs to be in a destination for a week or two – or perhaps even a month or two. This could be the case if they need to quarantine in a country with travel restrictions, work on a prolonged project, or have a temporary home during a relocation.
In such situations, a long-term stay at a corporate apartment unit may be a more suitable option, giving travelers the comforts of home with a few hotel-like luxuries. We offer clients long-term options through our partner WWStay, which has corporate apartment units in more than 170 countries.
These apartments feature home-like amenities, such as a full kitchen where guests can prepare healthy meals, a separate lounge area where they can binge on their favorite TV series, and a designated workspace to have a video conference call.
Many long-term accommodations also come with many of the same perks as a hotel, such as complimentary breakfast, housekeeping service, a place where guests can exercise, and a 24/7 help desk and concierge. Generally, there’s also free Wi-Fi and a washer/dryer in the unit or on-site.
Note: WWStay content is not accessible through our online booking tool. You can either book a property through GBT using an inquiry form or making a reservation directly through the WWStay platform. No matter how the property gets booked, all itinerary details will be captured in our system for duty of care purposes so you can quickly locate your travelers if an emergency arises and eliminate many hassles and frantic phone calls.