Airbnb has experienced a wave of ups and downs over the course of the pandemic, and now, bookings appear to be on the upswing again as the company experienced a 22 percent year-over-year increase in consumer spending in July. As customers return to the platform, they’re looking for longer-term stays, according to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.
“There’s this really new trend where traveling and living are starting to blur together,” Chesky told CNN Business. “People are booking for weeks at a time or even months at a time.”
A news release recently issued by the short-term rental company noted that more guests are seeking out long-term stays into the fall, as working remotely remains the status quo for many. In addition, Airbnb guests are more keen to book stays that include amenities, especially the ability to bring pets with them on their stay. Other frequently searched for amenities of late have been pools, Wi-Fi, kitchen, air conditioning, washer, jacuzzi and free parking.
Airbnb guests are also largely booking spontaneous trips close to home.
“With domestic trips accounting for the majority of bookings globally, and more than half of all bookings made in August for trips within 300 miles of the guest’s origin, it’s clear that nearby escapes are here to stay this fall,” Airbnb’s release states. “While trips are mostly domestic, they vary widely in destination, with no one city in the U.S. accounting for more than 2 percent of guest arrivals over Labor Day Weekend.”
The average lead time between a new booking and the start of a guest’s reservation is 10 days less than last year on a global level, indicating that guests may be hesitant to book too far in advance with travel conditions and COVID-19 restrictions continuing to be in flux.
As Airbnb has found firm footing again, now months into the pandemic, the company has determined to continue with plans to make its stock market debut later this year.
“We started this year, we were planning on going public, and the pandemic hit and it seemed inconceivable that this company will go public,” Chesky told CNN Business. “But what I will say is that the business is so much more resilient than I think any of us even gave ourselves credit for.”
As travelers across the globe have started to come to terms with the new normal of travel, many are seeing Airbnb stays as a potentially less-risky way to get away from home with the ability to have greater control over their own environment and social distance more easily than in a large hotel, Chesky added.