Travelers are beginning to return to cities after being absent since the Covid-19 pandemic began, according to Airbnb, the leading online housing booking company in the world.
According to the hotel website, the number of nights booked in cities in the latter three months of 2018 nearly matched 2019 levels.
According to the report, urban bookings have entirely recovered in the United States.
The booking company made a record profit of $55 million in the fourth quarter of 20121.
Cities were essential targets for Airbnb’s business, but non-urban places have emerged to be more popular during the pandemic, as individuals seek out outdoor activities away from crowds.
However, bookings in metropolitan areas are beginning to increase, with 49 percent of nights reserved in the three months leading up to 1 January, according to the business.
“While travel to top cities has not yet entirely recovered to 2019 levels, we are seeing signs of travelers returning,” it said.
in the first three months of the current year, the total nights booked is likely to surpass levels seen prior to the emergence of the pandemic for the first time, according to the firm.
The pandemic-driven rise of remote work is continuing to shape Airbnb’s business, fuelling an increase in long-term stays, according to the company.
According to the report, about a fifth of the nights scheduled in the latter three months of 2021 was for four weeks or longer.
“Nearly two years into the pandemic, it’s now clear that we are undergoing the biggest change to travel since the advent of commercial flying,” the company said in a letter to shareholders.
“Remote work has untethered many people from the need to be in an office every day. As a result, people are spreading out.”
Although domestic and short-distance travel remains more common than international travel, the San Francisco-based company claims there are indicators that the virus is becoming less of a concern for travelers.
During the wave of Omicron infections, for example, the platform had fewer cancellations than during earlier surges. And, as of the end of January, reservations for this summer were up 25 per cent from the previous year.
Revenue increased by 75 per cent year over year to $1.5 billion in the three months ending January 1, owing in part to higher rates, which increased by 20 per cent year over year.
Airbnb forecasted revenue of $1.4 billion to $1.48 billion in the first three months of 2022, which is above experts’ expectations.
Overall, Airbnb made $6 billion in revenue in 2021, with $352 million in losses which were smaller than the previous year.
“Overall, 2021 has proven to be an incredible year demonstrating the resiliency of the business,” it said.
(Adapted from LiveMint.com)