Remote working and longer stays drive revenue surge for Airbnb

4 May 2022

Image: © Ascannio/Stock.adobe.com

Commenting on its Q1 financial results, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the company has benefitted from the flexible working trend.

Airbnb has benefitted from the mass shift to remote working, according to its latest earnings report. The company said it is seeing an uptick in guests booking longer stays as they use properties registered on the platform as a base for working remotely.

“Millions of people are now more flexible about where they live and they work,” Airbnb said in its letter to shareholders. “We’ve been able to quickly respond to this changing world of travel.”

Future Human

It comes as Airbnb rolls out its own flexible work policy for employees. CEO Brian Chesky revealed last week that all Airbnb employees can “live and work anywhere” from September 2022.

They will be able to relocate anywhere in the country they are living in and their compensation will not change. Staff will have to retain a permanent address for payroll and tax purposes, but can live and work in more than 170 countries for up to 90 days a year in each location.

In a shareholder letter announcing its Q1 2022 earnings, Airbnb revealed that nights and experiences booked through the platform had surpassed pre-pandemic levels and exceeded $100m for the first time ever.

It represents a 59pc year-on-year increase and a 26pc increase on the same period in 2019. This surge was driven by the North America, Latin America and EMEA markets.

The company’s gross booking value grew to $17.2bn, representing a 67pc year-on-year increase and a 73pc increase since 2019. This growth was driven by the increase in nights and experiences booked as well as the continued higher average daily rates.

Overall, Airbnb pulled in revenue of $1.5bn, which it described as its “strongest first quarter ever”. Revenue was up 80pc on the first quarter of 2019 and 70pc on the first quarter of 2021, as travel restrictions have eased but working from home has continued for many.

The company also achieved its first positive Q1 adjusted EBITDA of $229m.

While Airbnb was initially hit hard by the pandemic, Chesky said on the company’s Q1 earnings call that he reckoned the pandemic had accelerated the adoption of longer-term stays “certainly by several years.”

“As long as we believe in a world where people continue to dial in on Zoom … we are going to see continued and sustained growth in stays of longer than a month and stays of longer than a week,” he added.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic

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