Airbnb customers booked more nights on the short-term rental platform last quarter than at any point in the company’s history as the company fell shortly below profitability.
The company said in an earnings report released Tuesday that a surge in demand among worldwide travelers surpassed pre-pandemic levels, with a record 102.1 million nights booked on the platform last quarter, a 59 percent increase year over year.
Those bookings added up to $17.2 billion in value for the company and its hosts, with Airbnb reporting $1.5 billion in total company revenue for the first three months of 2022. It was an increase of 80 percent compared to Q1 2019, though the company posted a net loss of $19 million.
The company said recent changes that made it easier for hosts to join the platform, changes that helped manage supply and demand constraints and peoples’ continued comfort traveling amid the pandemic all contributed to one of its best quarters in history.
“What these results show is that two years into the pandemic, Airbnb is stronger than ever before,” Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO, said in a call with investors on Tuesday.
Demand remained high as millions of people continued to work for companies with flexible policies around remote working. More people booked long-term stays. The company said its ‘I’m Flexible’ feature, which showed site visitors other options, helped to manage supply and demand and was used more than 2 billion times.
On top of that, the company’s most popular markets for visitors were also the most popular markets for hosts listing their homes on the platform.
“The fastest growing supply markets are actually our fastest growing demand markets,” Chesky said.
Guests booked further in advance of travel, for more nights, and resumed international and big-city travel. They spent more time per stay, with the number of stays that are 28 days or more double what they were in 2019.
While still posting a net loss, it was a significant improvement from a $1.2 billion net loss during the first three months of 2021, before the widespread availability of vaccines.
The company reported an uptick in the number of people listing their homes on Airbnb in non-urban areas (up 21 percent) and internationally (15 percent).
Guests are scooping those listings up faster than they were a year ago, and new homes on Airbnb were typically rented out within about a week, the company said.
When asked about the pressures of inflation and a possible recession, Chesky and other officials at Airbnb suggested the company was prepared.
Hosts span the range from single-room budget stays to ultra-high end luxury all over the world, Chesky said, further insulating the company from slowdowns in one region.
“Probably more people would turn to hosting. That would be No. 1,” he said. “No. 2, travelers would prob become more budget conscious. And that would probably be more beneficial to Airbnb, as well.”
The company also teased a major redesign to be unveiled next week.