Business

Airbnb reports surge in demand for local holidays and short stays

"Work from home is becoming working from any home", explains Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO

Photo: Airbnb/Wikipedia
  • Airbnb saw more nights booked for U.S. listings between May 17 and June 3 than during the same period in 2019.
  • The firm has cut 25% of its employees to save itself financially, as social distancing measures have caused the platform to cease some bookings.

Airbnb is reporting a surge in demand as people are booking local holidays, according to Bloomberg. In an interview, Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky said that people are road-tripping to nearby vacation rentals in surprisingly strong numbers.

“People, after having been stuck in their homes for a few months, do want to get out of their houses; that’s really, really clear. But they don’t necessarily want to get on an airplane and are not yet comfortable leaving their countries”, he said.

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It shows the first rebound signs for the firm that since March has been experiencing difficult times. It has cut 25% of its employees to save itself financially, as social distancing measures have caused the platform to cease some bookings. The company saw its revenue slashed in half due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, Airbnb saw more nights booked for U.S. listings between May 17 and June 3 than the same period in 2019, and a similar boost in domestic travel globally, according to Bloomberg. The startup is also seeing an increase in demand for domestic bookings in countries from Germany to Portugal, South Korea, New Zealand and more.

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According to Chesky, international stays usually planned months in advance are being replaced with impulsive road trips booked a day before and weekend getaways are turning into weeks-long respites. “Work from home is becoming working from any home,” he said.