As people around the world locked down in 2020, they strongly affected the Airbnb dynamic, limiting the amount of homes available to be rented.
Now, Airbnb’s CEO believes that a big travel bird is coming home to roost.
Brian Chesky told CNBC on Friday that the shortfall in hosts has created a massive upcoming demand and predicted big-time travel boom. He sees a “rebound coming that’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”
So, what kind of future are we looking at?
Chesky said the company has 4 million hosts with about 5.6 million listings, and it will need a crazy amount of hosts to help.
“To meet the demand over the coming years, we’re going to need millions more hosts,” Chesky told CNBC.
Those potential hosts are in more than 220 countries and regions, according to Airbnb filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In the SEC filing, the company said: “While we believe that travel will change as a result of COVID-19, the adaptability of our business suggests that we are well-positioned to serve this dynamic market as it continues to evolve and recover.”
As was the case with most companies during each quarter of 2020, revenue was down – about 22 percent for Airbnb comparing the same period with the prior year’s period – but was seen as a company with major potential for a quick rebound.
Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak, per a report in Business Insider, said Airbnb was “primed for recovery” earlier this year and that the company is likely to be the “only player growing” in the first quarter.
“Similar to ’20, when people are returning to travel, they are choosing local …which gives an edge to alternative accommodations,” Nowak said.