Will pent-up demand make up for lost business during the pandemic?
The big picture: Covid-19 may even be giving services like Airbnb a leg up on traditional hotels. With vacation home rentals, travelers can control their contact with others, cook in a private kitchen and avoid crowded areas like hotel lobbies.
Covid-19 containment measures are starting to take their toll. Having been stuck at home for well over two months now, many are starting to go stir-crazy and are opting for impulse road trips and weeks-long respites for a change of scenery.
Home-sharing company Airbnb, which saw business essentially dry up overnight due to stay-at-home orders, is starting to see signs of recovery. From May 17 through June 3, Airbnb users booked more nights for US listings than during the same period in 2019. Domestic bookings are also up in other regions the company services as well including South Korea, Germany, Portugal and New Zealand.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky told Bloomberg that after having been stuck in their homes for a few months, people “do want to get out of their houses.” The executive added that people “don’t necessarily want to get on an airplane and are not yet comfortable leaving their countries.”
Airbnb’s clients aren’t traveling solely for pleasure, either. With many having been ordered to work remotely, “work from home is becoming working from any home,” Chesky said.
That is especially true for those struggling to adjust to working conditions that now involve all members of the family being home 24/7. You may not be able to go into the office for some peace and quiet but perhaps a vacation rental in a nearby town for a couple of days would have the same effect?