The next five years for Airbnb – where will it be?
Once it was hard to think of staying at somebody else’s home while travelling, most travellers now choose to stay at a stranger. Airbnb has more than 5 million hosts, and it offers a much more comprehensive range of locations, styles, and prices than any hotel chain.
Like all the other travel industries, pandemics also challenged Airbnb, where about a quarter of its employees lost jobs last May. Because of its flexibility, the home-sharing platform fared better than most of its similar platforms. As travel demand shifted outside of cities, Airbnb hosts met those travellers, giving them a clear advantage over hotels.
It’s difficult to say where a company like Airbnb will be in the following five years. However, some significant trends might shape its business in the next five years.
An increasing number of remote work
Management said in its recent shareholder letter that Guests are living on Airbnb, not just travelling. In the first quarter, 25% of nights were booked for stays of 29 nights or longer. This pandemic’s function gives us a clear sign of what’s likely to be a trend. Remote work has become highly popular during the pandemic, and it seems to remain the same even when offices reopen. Management added that an increasing number of guests discovered that they could pick one location for living and working.
Nobody knows for sure what the future of remote work will look like, but even Zoom forecasted revenue growth of 43% this year. It is a sign that the remote work trend will remain for a long time.
The remote work trend is essential for Airbnb as it demonstrates all its advantages compared to hotels. It offers complete homes with workspaces and kitchens. It can host remote workers in a way that hotels are not able to. Therefore, it demonstrates one of the best cases for the platform that is profitable for guests and hosts.