Airbnb sees inventory increase amid expectations

Airbnb inventory is brimming with all sorts of vacation stay options as the travel industry eagerly awaits an inoculated population seeking getaways to short-term rental properties rather than more traditional locations.

There are over 5.4 million assets Airbnb listings worldwide, more than double the number in 2017, according to the short-term vacation rental data and analytics firm AirDNA. Airbnb’s inventory is also larger than many hotel chains combined. Together, Marriott, Hilton and IHG had a total of 3.3 million units available.

As the world has been gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, larger short-term rentals in remote locations have helped Airbnb stay afloat and plan ahead. The company has far outperformed more traditional accommodation types, such as hotels and hostels, according to data from AirDNA.

In February alone, Airbnb’s active listings globally rose 2.5% from the same period in 2020. Inventory in the 10 countries where it has the most presence is mixed, however. In Canada, for example, the supply of short-term rentals fell by 22% in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, where 40% of the inventory was located last year. The rest of Canada fell 3.5%, according to AirDNA.

Airbnb hosts in Lisbon, Barcelona, ​​Prague, Venice and more European city centers said they went from short-term stays to longer term rentals because of the pandemic. Other hosts have just left their businesses or moved into properties they previously rented. Inventory in Europe’s largest cities that had a night booked or available fell 21.9% year-on-year over the past month.

Looking ahead, Airbnb has introduced a new search option based on where people want to travel instead of specific dates as a way to make it easier to plan getaways. The new search function also gives hosts an overview of interested travelers. Last month Airbnb Travel Trends Report reported that 25% of Americans are open to off-peak vacations.

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