What's going on?
Airbnb reported better-than-expected quarterly results earlier this week, as travelers try to make this whole downtime thing last as long as they possibly can.
What does this mean?
The world’s working from anywhere but home right now, and it’s doing wonders for Airbnb: the company logged 16% more 28 night-or-longer bookings last quarter than the same time in 2019, as nomadic workers extend their stays for weeks at a time. And they’re living in style, flocking to more expensive locations and forking out on average 20% more a day.
That helped Airbnb make $55 million in profit last quarter – a welcome turnaround from its $3.9 billion loss the same time in 2020. And since the company reckons bookings will reach pre-pandemic levels again soon, it gave a much better-than-expected revenue outlook for this quarter – prompting investors to send its shares up 4%.
Why should I care?
Zooming in: More hosts, please.
Still, all those travelers need somewhere to stay, and Airbnb’s been struggling to sign up new hosts even as pandemic restrictions relax. In fact, there were only 7% more active listings last quarter than the same time in 2020 – particularly measly given a 59% uptick in overall bookings over the same period. But that might change soon: Airbnb reckons high inflation – which is forcing some households to earn extra money any way they can – will turn even more homeowners into hosts.
The bigger picture: Travel’s back.
The travel bug is working in Expedia’s favor too: the online travel agent also posted strong quarterly results last week, as its Vrbo booking platform helped it more than double its revenue last quarter. Those results – along with Airbnb’s – suggest the travel industry is bouncing back after two years of disruptions. And so does this: a recent survey shows that around 70% of vacationers in countries like the US, UK, and Japan plan to spend more on travel this year than they have in the past five years (tweet this).