Concerns about Delta variants eclipse Airbnb’s surge

Solid results, yes, and a strong relaunch continues for Airbnb as people continue to travel amid rising vaccination rates.

But now a lot depends on the Delta variant.

The online booking platform topped Wall Street estimates, noting in its letter to shareholders for the second quarter that nights and experiences booked jumped 197% year-over-year to 83.1 million. The company said this was only 1% lower than pre-pandemic activity.

Total gross bookings stood at $ 13.4 billion, up 320% year-over-year, a tally 37% above 2019 levels.

Second-quarter revenue rose 299% to $ 1.3 billion, better than the street expected $ 1.27 billion; revenues were also 10% higher than in the second quarter of two years ago.

Increase in average daily rates

Average daily rates jumped 41% year-over-year to $ 161, according to the letter.

As stated in the letter: “We are starting to see a rebound in the types of travel that have been most affected by the pandemic. For example, gross nights booked for cross-border travel in Europe were higher in June 2021 than in June 2019. And travel is returning to some major cities, with gross nights booked in cities like Istanbul, Las Vegas and Sao Paulo. . -Pandemic levels by the end of June.

Management also said on a conference call with analysts that during the quarter there had been “steady strength” in North America.

But in the letter, the company said the continued impact of COVID-19 and its Delta variant will continue to keep volatility in the mix.

“In the third quarter, we are starting to see the global spread of COVID variants, a patchwork of local travel restrictions and slowing vaccinations negatively impacting cancellations and the growth of booked nights and experiences,” the report said. company in the letter. “As a result, while we expect nights and booked experiences in Q3 2021 to significantly outperform Q3 2020, we expect nights and booked experiences to decrease from Q2 and remain below levels in the third quarter 2019. “

And, as Airbnb said, “We don’t yet know how willing people will be to travel in the fall compared to the summer.”

During the call with analysts, management also noted that particular strength was seen with bookings made with destinations within 300 miles of the customer. Management also said stays of 28 days or more made up 19% of nights in the second quarter. Stays of seven days or more represented 50% of the nights booked by the company.

See also: Airbnb rolls out flexibility features as travel resumes after pandemic

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