Airbnb’s Chesky says he’s “very confident” about travel demand

(Bloomberg) – Airbnb Inc. Chief Executive Brian Chesky said he was pleased with the fourth quarter, citing the home rental site’s adaptable sales model and continued customer interest in longer-term stays. .

Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Technology anchor Emily Chang, Chesky responded to Airbnb’s shares falling 13% on Wednesday after the company said it expects the pace of reservations “moderates slightly” in the last three months of the year. The forecast follows Airbnb reporting record third-quarter revenue and its highest-ever adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

“It’s a very uncertain time and people are looking for indications of what the future holds,” Chesky said. “We tried to convey that we were very confident going into the fourth quarter.”

Chesky said Airbnb was the first travel company to rebound from the pandemic because — as people cut back on cross-border travel — they were increasingly looking for nearby homes in rural settings for extended stays. In response to a question about whether Airbnb rentals will continue to be affordable, Chesky said, “They will.”

Prices have risen because people have opted to rent larger homes for families, instead of small city apartments for vacations, Chesky said. He expects the average daily rate to remain stable.

In the coming years, long-term stays will increase as a percentage of Airbnb’s business, he said. “I think more people will be flexible and maybe fewer people will have leases. This is a huge new growth opportunity for us in the years to come.

As the economy slows, Airbnb wants to make sure its value is even better. “We want to make sure our pricing is dynamic,” he said, noting that Airbnb is investing in pricing tools for hosts so they can stay competitive with hotels.

Chesky said no matter how bad or good the economy is, it won’t change the way the business is run. That’s why Airbnb has planned to hire 7% more employees this year and is sticking to that goal, without cutting spending like some other tech companies. “We are not backing down,” he said. “Actually, we’re stepping on the accelerator.”

–With help from Emily Chang.

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