While business travel has been a victim of the coronavirus pandemic, Airbnb plans to capitalize on the newfound work-life balance that emerged during the move to remote working.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky told CNBC’s Jim Cramer Thursday that the rental company is seeing signs that consumers are using the work from anywhere model, using the company to get out of the house and find a change of scene.
“The lines between travel and life are gradually blurring,” he said in a “Mad Money” interview.
As opposed to just renting Airbnb websites for vacation, more and more people are using rental apartments for residential purposes, said Chesky, who floated the company he founded last year. The initial public offering originally planned for the beginning of 2020 was postponed to a later date in the year due to the uncertainty about the global pandemic. The travel industry has been one of the hardest-hit parts of the economy as bans have been placed on Covid-19 around the world.
Now remote workers have even more flexibility and are choosing to spend more three-day weekends or move into a home longer than before while the internet is available to connect to Zoom for work, Chesky said.
“We believe that a lot of trips will be to smaller cities because people will get into cars and travel nearby,” he said.
“We are really adaptable and resilient to any kind of travel behavior. We learned that last year,” he added.
The comments come after Airbnb released its first quarterly report as a public company. The bottom line was that the analysts’ expectations were missed, although the bottom line was that the estimates were exceeded.
Airbnb said it had fourth quarter revenue of $ 859 million, compared to FactSet estimates of $ 747 million and a net loss of $ 3.89 billion. Much of the losses were attributed to fees that went public late last year.
Airbnb shares fell sharply on Thursday, closing 9% to $ 182.06 on a brutal day on Wall Street alongside other tech and high-growth stocks.
Since the beginning of the year, the stock has risen 24%.