Airbnb sees record bookings and predicts ‘strong’ summer rebound

United States: Airbnb reported record bookings and higher rates in its second quarter earnings call as travel demand continues to consolidate, despite the cost of living crisis and worries about the impact of the slowdown economy on households around the world.

The home-sharing platform revealed that 103.7 million nights and experiences were booked on Airbnb between April and June this year – a record total for the company of more than a quarter and an increase down 25% from 2021 levels. However, that figure was also lower than the 106.4 million that Wall Street had originally forecast, which caused the company’s shares to fall about 8% in trading after the office hours.

After posting a loss of $68 million in the same period last year, Airbnb rebounded by posting a net profit of $379 million and generating $795 million in free cash flow during the quarter. .

Pent-up consumer travel demand after pandemic-enforced shutdowns resulted in a 25% increase in revenue over 2021 levels, matching analyst expectations of $2.1 billion.

Travel demand strengthened further in North America, with bookings jumping 37% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019, although the recovery is showing more staggered signs in Europe.

In Asia-Pacific, demand continues to stagnate, particularly in China, where Airbnb withdrew its domestic tourism business last month and Covid-19 restrictions came back into effect.

Despite the removal of listings in China, as well as those of Russia and Belarus after the invasion of Ukraine in February, Airbnb claimed it still had more than 6 million active listings on the platform.

Long-term stays are the fastest growing type of travel at Airbnb, fueled by the rise of the “work from anywhere” trend, with bookings of a week or more now accounting for nearly half corporate reservations. International and city travel showed a strong recovery, despite the impact of flight disruptions, giving Airbnb optimism for the future of business travel post-pandemic.

CEO Brian Chesky argues that Airbnb is poised to benefit from collective pent-up demand for travel, even as consumer purchasing power declines due to the cost of living crisis and rising prices. inflation. On top of that, he thinks more people will turn to hosting on Airbnb to earn extra income during the economic downturn.

After made public at the end of 2020Chesky said the company had achieved “large scale growth and profitability” and announced the initiation of a $2 billion share buyback to help spur the company’s stock price decline.

For the next quarter, Airbnb expects to record the highest revenue in its history during the current third quarter, in line with the strong bookings of the summer season. The platform is looking to generate between $2.78 billion and $2.88 billion, an increase of 24 and 29% more than in the second quarter of last year.

Airbnb too appointed Amazon executive and former White House press secretary for President Barack Obama, Jay Carney, as the new global head of policy and communications a fortnight ago.

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