Property and home rental online marketplace operator Airbnb, Inc. has reported an uptick in bookings - outpacing the recovery rate of the wider hotel industry. While the company reported an increase in bookings over the past few months, hotel bookings remain at significantly low levels as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The San Francisco, California-based company reported an average 32 percent week-on-week increase in online bookings since April 27. This was a big increase given the sustained downturn it experienced over the past few quarters as international travel ground to a halt after countries worldwide shutdown borders.
Airbnb's recent performance outpaced other businesses in the hospitality sector - including those of hotels, resorts and other home rental apps, according to research company Edison Trends. While Airbnb did experience a dramatic decline in business during the pandemic it has recovered much faster.
Airbnb reported a 56 percent decline in bookings during the height of the pandemic. That was much lower than those experienced by other companies. During the same period, Marriot International, Inc. reported a 75 percent decline in bookings.
The Edison Trends report showed Airbnb's bookings actually experienced growth during July. It saw a 22 percent increase in bookings compared with the same month last year. Airbnb saw the most growth during the week beginning Aug. 17 when booking rose 75 percent compared with the same week in 2019.
Industry researchers say the uptick in new booking on Airbnb can be attributed to the growing demand for long-stay rentals or "stay-cations." With some countries still in lockdown, families have chosen to stay in much nicer accommodations to wait out the crisis. Meanwhile, some employees forced to work from home have chosen to book properties which they use as an office, too.
As the effects of the pandemic subside bookings at traditional hotels are expected to gradually recover. In the meantime, some hotels have chosen to adapt to the changing demand by offering long-stay booking promotions and discounts.