Business

Inflation could push more families to become Airbnb hosts, director says

Rising inflation could prompt more families to become owners of Airbnb, its co-founder and chief executive said, as investors worry about limited supply on the lodging platform as demand mounts. demand return.

Airbnb on Tuesday said it expected bookings to bounce back to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels for the first time in the current quarter after concerns about the Omicron coronavirus variant “quickly dissipated” and who become more comfortable when traveling.

But the company is still facing challenges in getting more servers to join or re-engage the platform. Airbnb says it has 6 million active listings, compared with 5.6 million a year ago.

The relatively small increase comes even as pandemic restrictions are eased, coupled with Airbnb’s substantial efforts to market the platform and improved storage engine.

“We think that perhaps the biggest growth area will be individuals,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said of next year. “And the reason why is because things like inflation are putting more pressure on families around the world, and they will require economic opportunity to be able to get through these tough times.”

His comments emphasize the pressure that makes Inflation soars applied to U.S. households, with consumer prices rising at the fastest annual rate in 40 years.

Chesky says the company’s recently introduced “Flexible Me” feature – which highlights attributes available to users with no preference for time or place – has been used by more than 800 million people. accommodation searches as of May 2021, driving demand to supply. richer.

“We are not constrained to supply globally any night of the year,” Chesky said, answering multiple questions from analysts about the scarcity of supply. “The challenge is just having too many people go to too few places at once.”

He said guests booked summer travel earlier this year, with bookings for the peak travel months 25% higher than at the same time in 2019.

Airbnb’s optimism about the recovery of travel activity follows similar views from American Express, said last month Travel bookings in January were up 44% year-on-year in 2019. The credit card company predicts future Covid-19 variants will have “very little impact” on spending on goods and services. service.

Likewise, Airbnb said Omicron caused no significant disruption compared to Canceled during peak times of the Delta variant.

In the final quarter of 2021, higher prices were the driving force behind higher-than-expected revenue and profit – although nightly bookings have yet to fully reach pre-pandemic levels, according to data. was announced on Tuesday.

Between October and December, the number of “nights and experiences” booked – which includes much smaller events and Airbnb’s tour guide business – grew 59% compared to 2020, but still 3% lower than the quarter 2019.

The average nightly fee was $153.61, more than a third more than before the pandemic, bringing total booking value to 91% year-over-year and 32% year-over-year.

Revenue increased 78% year-over-year and 38% from 2019, to $1.5 billion. Airbnb expects revenue between $1.41 billion and $1.48 billion for the current quarter.

According to data provided by FactSet, revenue and total bookings were in line with Wall Street expectations. Revenue growth at Airbnb, where the business is located be more resilient during the pandemic months compared with its rivals, which currently lag behind major hotel groups, as well as travel aggregators Expedia and Booking.com.

The drastic cuts in product development and marketing costs, and the lower stock-based compensation payouts stemming from its recent IPO, have helped Airbnb achieve a net profit of $55 million during the year. quarter, far exceeding the consensus estimate of $33 million. At $333 million, adjusted ebitda earnings were the highest ever, the company said.

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