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Airbnb for Work touts its business cred with nearly 700K companies onboard

More employees are combining work trips with weekend getaways, says Airbnb.

CEO Brian Chesky speaks at an event in San Francisco earlier this year.
James Martin/CNET

Airbnb is serious about business travel. 

To back that up, the home-rental company on Monday shared updates about how people use its professional community, which was recently rebranded as Airbnb for Work to "better encompass the unique benefits only Airbnb can offer today's modern workforce."

Airbnb for Work bookings tripled from 2015 to 2016, and then tripled again from 2016 to 2017, the company said in a blog post. It also said "nearly 700,000 companies have had employees sign up and book with Airbnb for Work," adding that more than 275,000 are directly engaged with Airbnb to manage travel.

People are also apparently mixing work and fun. Airbnb said more than 30 percent of Airbnb for Work bookings included at least one weekend night and longer stays of at least 14 days have increased over the past year. Some of the top destinations for business trips are London, Paris, Los Angeles and New York.

"We're seeing massive continued growth of companies booking with Airbnb for Work," said an Airbnb spokesperson in an email statement. "We're also seeing interesting trends in the way people are traveling for work -- blending business with leisure, using Airbnb for shorter stays and traveling together with colleagues to collaborate when on the road."

Airbnb is touting its popularity, but the service has also faced criticism. Residents, regulators and housing advocates have argued that short-term rentals mean cities lose tax revenue that hotels paid, while also reducing rental stock and exacerbating the housing crunch in many cities. Airbnb has begun working with many cities, but some of its feuds, like with New York, are ongoing.

Airbnb also said in its blog post that it'll roll out customizable travel pages for businesses, called HOMEpages, to help companies "streamline how their employees search for and book listings." These HOMEpages will offer features like custom search settings, pre-filtered locations, top-rated listings near offices and travel tips and reminders.

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