Airbnb, like many other companies, has begun to suffer the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Brian Chesky, the company’s CEO, reported in a letter to employees obtained by CNBC that he has laid off 25% of his staff worldwide, which is equal to 1,900 employees. In view of the crisis, Airbnb will change its priorities and will dispense with all those services not related to housing rentals. They will abandon their commitment to transport or luxury accommodation, for example.
“We lived through the most heartbreaking crisis of our lives and, as it began to unfold, global travel came to a standstill. While we know that Airbnb’s business will recover completely, the changes it will undergo are neither temporary nor short-lived. Because of this, we need to make fundamental changes at Airbnb by reducing the size of our workforce around a more focused business strategy,” the manager added.
Analysts anticipated that the coronavirus would significantly affect Airbnb’s business, as tourism is completely paralyzed worldwide. The company forecasts that revenues in 2020 will be much lower than last year, specifically less than half: “Airbnb’s business has been greatly affected, and it is expected that this year’s revenues will be less than half of what we earn in 2019”.
One of the reasons they have forgotten about other services is that tourism could change a lot after the pandemic. “Travel in this new world will be different, and we need to evolve Airbnb accordingly. People will want options that are closer to home, safer and more affordable,” said Chesky. The company will therefore prioritize renting houses for short periods of time. In other words, they will practically return to the roots that allowed them to take off.