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Airbnb CEO Identifies Vacation Rental Trends That are Unlikely to Reverse

Weeklong vacations from clients abroad were once a trend for Airbnb before this pandemic happened. Adventure seekers would always look for accommodation in the city where easy access is available and crowds gather in different arrest attractions. On the other hand, the home rental platform has managed to keep transactions going with trips that are less than 50 miles away from a client’s hometown. A quarter of this number booked accommodations lasting 28 days or even more.

It turned out that Airbnb is a highly adaptable tech platform. Assuming lockdowns and quarantines taking place due to COVID-19, it was thought that home rentals for short term stays would be greatly affected. However, with about 4 million hosts in 100,000 cities, Airbnb was still able to accommodate staycations in the middle of stay-at-home orders.

The tech platform is also seeing vacation goers slowly returning to booking urban rentals. This is despite an uptick in the demand for remote or rural vacation destinations. Figures show that about 40% of all nights booked during the first quarter are those rentals available in highly saturated urban areas.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky thinks that the hype for bookings around congested, urban areas will become a memory of what was once before this pandemic occurred. This view is entirely different from what hotel chains Maria is looking at as it sees leisure travelers seeking to go to popular tourist destinations.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance Presents, Chesky said, “This is a long-term trend – a trend toward bigger homes, a trend toward longer stays, a trend toward going from a few cities to everywhere, a trend from business travel to leisure travel and a trend from mass travel to meaningful travel. I think all these things…it’s hard for me to fathom those reversing.”

Vaccination efforts across well developed countries have made cross-border travels a reality. However, if we look at the average daily rate (ADR) for Airbnb as an indication, then what we are looking at is that the first quarter will mostly be enduring the present situation.

In the first quarter, The ADR for Airbnb reached $160 which is an increase of 35%. This shows how rentals in North America are relatively strong as their listings are higher in prices.

As mentioned, people have looked at traveling as a meaningful endeavor rather than just traveling. This is probably due to the fact that a lot of people have been locked down for quite long. When the opportunity comes where they can have bookings done on this platform then they are most likely to take it.

Cesky also added that the United States is seeing recovery faster compared with other countries. Many travelers think that this can be a good sign however the recovery rate is also looked at as a disproportion. People have been traveling to rural areas compared to going to areas in the city.

The Airbnb CEO also pointed out that as countries lift their travel restrictions then people will be able to travel more to urban areas. He noted that as borders open then the ADR should also go down a little bit than what it is now. This is because there will be a shift of trends towards going to Europe or even opening back to Latin America going to Asia and of course going back to city rentals.

Furthermore, he added that people would usually book studio apartments when visiting cities. Adventurers also seek one or two-bedroom apartments during urban rentals instead of booking for our five-bedroom homes.

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