Over the past two years, as millions of people around the world have been working from home, Airbnb says it’s driven the biggest shift in travel since the advent of commercial flight.
Remote and hybrid working has enabled millions of people to now live anywhere. On the Airbnb platform, one in five gross nights booked in the third quarter were for stays of 28 days or more. Nearly half of nights booked in the third quarter were for stays of at least seven days, up from 44% in 2019.
Between September 2020 and September 2021, more than 100,000 customers booked stays of 90 days or more. An interesting finding for India was that more people were looking to stay in rural areas. In the third quarter, the number of Indians staying in rural areas was more than 100% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Last year, Airbnb selected 12 people who would live at various Airbnb properties around the world for a year. They would share their experience on the platform for a better nomadic life. Airbnb received 314,000 applications for the 12 openings.
Airbnb is bullish on the “Live Anywhere” trend. During the pandemic, 100,000 cities around the world had Airbnb reservations, of which 6,000 places had their first reservation. Family nights for long-term stays increased by 75% between summer 2019 and summer 2021.
According to Airbnb, we will see three trends in travel:
- People will continue to spread to thousands of towns and cities, and they will stay for weeks, months, or even longer.
- More people will start living abroad, others will travel all summer, and some will even give up their leases and become digital nomads.
- Cities and countries will compete to attract these remote workers and this will lead to a redistribution of where people travel and live. More and more countries are changing their visa and tax rules, and more than three dozen countries, including Estonia, Georgia, and Portugal, are offering some sort of digital nomad visa program.
Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky recently announced that he too will be living in an Airbnb. Starting this week in Atlanta, Chesky will stay with people in new cities every few weeks and return to San Francisco in much the same way that many remote workers regularly return to cities where their offices need to collaborate with colleagues.
Chesky living in an Airbnb will help the company improve the design of the experience for people who can now live anywhere.
Airbnb was born in 2007 and has since had 4 million hosts around the world. Over 900 million customers have booked the services.
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