Study: Nearly Half of Business Travelers Use Extended Stay Accommodations Abroad

In the past 12 months, nearly half (48 percent) of U.S. business travelers have used an extended stay accommodation when traveling internationally, finds a new study from the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

Titled "Extended Stay Accommodations: Awareness, Supply, and Demand," the study found that extended stay options -- including extended stay hotels, corporate apartments, and Airbnb rentals -- are most popular among Millennials, 72 percent of who have used extended stay accommodations during international business travel in the past year, compared to 48 percent of Gen Xers and just 26 percent of Baby Boomers.

Across all groups, 60 percent of business travelers who use extended stay accommodations book it themselves, most often through an online travel site (41 percent) or directly on the company's website (38 percent). Just 30 percent use their employer's online travel booking tool.

"International extended lodging, especially in the form of corporate furnished apartments are really the final frontier in business lodging," said Rajeev Goswami, CEO of WWStay, which produced the study in partnership with the GBTA Foundation. "Travelers are 'doing their own thing' and getting frustrated largely because they and their companies aren't aware a solution exists to search, book, and track thousands of furnished apartments around the world. We believe this sector represents a huge opportunity for multi-national corporate travel managers to lean in and take control of this mostly unmanaged lodging channel, whilst providing better traveler service, cost control, and duty of care compliance."

Additional findings:

• Among travelers who prefer extended stay accommodations, the reasons cited include: fully equipped kitchens (45 percent), amenities (40 percent), and the residential feel (36 percent).

• Challenges when booking extended stay accommodations include minimum stay requirements (29 percent), limited number of accommodations (21 percent), and lack of guest reviews (20 percent).

• Most (91 percent) business travelers report being satisfied or very satisfied with the lodging experience on their last international business trip, regardless of lodging choice. Among those who used extended stay accommodations, satisfaction was highest among those who stayed at hotels (94 percent) and corporate apartments (87 percent), compared to 74 percent of with rental accommodations, such as Airbnbs.

"This study showed a clear demand for extended stay accommodations," said GBTA Foundation Vice President of Research Joseph Bates. "To ensure demand continues to increase, companies that provide extended stay accommodations should address the challenges noted by becoming more flexible with minimum stay requirements, providing an up-to-date website listing amenities and guest reviews, and increasing the supply of extended stay accommodations available."

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