Airbnb home sharing model prove resilient amid pandemic

18 Nov 2020

In its stock market filing Monday, Airbnb said its home-sharing model proved to be resilient during the global pandemic, as it reported a profit for the quarter that just ended. 

In the three months ending in September, the San Francisco-based startup delivered a $219 million profit but lost $697 million in the first nine months of the year in the midst of a 32 percent revenue drop as the Covid-19 outbreak crushed the travel sector.

Airbnb said its home-sharing model is "resilient" in the first public release of its financial data compared to others in the sector during the crisis. 

The document said, "People wanted to get out of their homes and yearned to travel, but they did not want to go far or be in crowded hotel lobbies." "In a way to lead these new forms of travel, our platform has proven adaptable."


In the first nine months of 2020, Airbnb's revenue slipped to $2.5 billion from $3.7 billion a year earlier. Its losses were roughly in line with last year's level for the nine-month period. 

According to the filing, the company has had mostly losing quarters but reported profits from 2018 in the third quarter of each year. 

But during the global health crisis, Airbnb said its unique business model has proved to be valuable both for hosts and travellers seeking a safe environment.


'Changing dynamic'

"We trust that the stability of our active listings underlines our business model's resilience, and does not require investment in fixed assets and real estate," the filing said. 

The 13-year-old company said the outbreak of Covid-19 "has a substantial negative impact on our recent operating and financial results" and will continue to have an impact. 

"We believe, however, that Airbnb will be a vital source of economic empowerment for millions of people as the world recovers from this pandemic," the filing said. 


It said that the pandemic "reinforced that travel, even in the face of challenges, is an enduring human desire: and that people have been searching for travel options closer to their homes." 


"The offerings of Airbnb are well suited for adapting to this changing dynamic," the company said. 


"We offer all types of accommodation, enabling guests under these conditions to find spaces suited to their individual needs."


For many of its hosts, Airbnb recently introduced new safety protocols and claims that listings meeting its updated guidelines are safer during the pandemic than hotels. 

The platform now has more than four million listings and more than 825 million bookings served in some 220 countries around the world.


"We are a community based on connection and belonging, and we will continue to develop new ways of doing it," a letter from the founders of Airbnb said. 

"Whenever the world continues to change, there will be no fundamental need for people to connect and belong.

This is what we will remain focused on."


Source: Bangkok Post