Tourism has been one of the sectors that has suffered most from the effects of confinement and border closures worldwide. As a result, the hotel sector has experienced large losses of revenue during these months, something that has also reached companies that compete against this model, such as Airbnb. As Brian Chesky, their CEO, told CNBC, they have “lost almost everything in a matter of four to six weeks”, after “12 years of building business at Airbnb”.
Chesky’s headlines don’t stop there, however, as the executive says that “travel as we knew it is over. He explains that it’s not that travel is over, but that the way we used to travel is over, and it’s not coming back. Despite all this, Chesky says that “Airbnb has dramatically reduced its expenses, and if there are new confinements, we are prepared thanks to the cuts”.
The words of Airbnb’s CEO are compatible with the fact that the company is still alive, even if it does not seem so because of all the cuts they have had to make in their staff. Nearly 2,000 employees were laid off, approximately 25% of the entire global workforce. But it didn’t stop there, their advertising expenditure was also cut back to zero. In total, the cut amounted to $1 billion. As diversification measures to grow other channels, Airbnb is investing in more experiences to be able to make online and in destinations close to home.