Sonder expands business travel segment
US: Next-generation hospitality company Sonder is expanding its business travel segment to include group bookings.
At the same time, the company has also partnered with HelmsBriscoe, a leading global player in meetings procurement and site selection.
Having formally launched its business travel segment in 2021, Sonder continued to expand its operations in the segment in 2022, including strengthening its position on GDS platforms, and adding a “significant” number of corporate travel accounts. The company said that this translated into approximately $70 million in booked corporate sales in 2022, roughly five times growth compared to 2021.
The company is continuing to grow both corporate travel and corporate housing accounts, and is now increasing its share of group bookings within popular verticals such as sports and entertainment, hosting elite athletes and sports teams, as well as film and television production crews.
Sonder offers both hotel and apartment accommodations in more than 40 markets worldwide, including entertainment hubs and cities that host international sporting events [including Formula One].
Kristen Richter, vice president of global sales at Sonder, said: “Partnering with an industry leader like HelmsBriscoe unlocks growth in group travel, at a time when corporate travel is still recovering to pre-pandemic levels, and the landscape is evolving with trends such as the blending of business and leisure travel. Sonder accommodations offer short-stay and long-stay groups an elevated experience at a great value.
“We see exciting opportunities to scale within our existing verticals, including sports and entertainment, and to add others,” she added.
Sonder’s portfolio now includes properties with on-site amenities and high key counts suited to groups, such as Battery Park in New York City, Business Bay in Dubai, Cielo in Mexico City, Maisonneuve in Montreal, and The Witherspoon in Philadelphia.
Its spaces are designed to provide fast wifi and a comfortable place to spread out and work remotely, with fully-equipped kitchens, living rooms, multiple bedrooms and en-suite laundry.
Sonder also made headlines earlier this month when it announced that it was making around 100 corporate employees redundant, amounting to close to 14 per cent of the startup’s overall workforce. The layoffs are set to take effect at the end of the first quarter, and follow two previous extensive rounds of redundancies in June 2022 and March 2020.