Airbnb CEO: Travelers will opt for small towns over big cities after COVID-19

The Airbnb CEO predicted on Thursday that travelers would start looking for smaller cities rather than larger cities in the future due to the coronavirus pandemic.

CEO Brian Chesky said more people will choose to drive in smaller communities and spend more time visiting family and friends than traveling to big cities for sightseeing. He also predicted that people would use the plane less for business meetings, according to Reuters.

Travel declined during the coronavirus pandemic, as stay-at-home orders and social distancing warrants forced people around the world to stay at home. Many Americans have refrained from seeing family and friends for fear of spreading or contracting the virus from loved ones.

Chesky said that people “long for what has been taken from them.”

“They don’t want to see Times Square,” Chesky said in an interview with the Reuters Next conference. “What they want to do is see their friends and families that they haven’t seen for a long time.”

At the start of the pandemic, Airbnb’s activity fell by 80% in nearly eight weeks, according to the media. However, after more cities began to ease restrictions and reopen their businesses, the company began to see more travelers booking homes rather than hotels.

Many of those home rentals were in small towns as opposed to big cities, Reuters reported.

Airbnb recently announced that it will cancel reservations made in Washington, DC, during the week of President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHow ‘Buy American’, Other Pro-American Policies Can Help Defenders Adopt Ambitious Climate Policies Overnight Defense & National Security – Presented by Raytheon Technologies – Biden looks back at Taiwan Photos of the Week: Manchin protester, Paris Hilton and a mirror room PLUSInauguration following the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6.

The service has banned people linked to last week’s violent riot on Capitol Hill from renting on its platform.

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