Airbnb’s 4.4 million hosts should prepare for a bumper spring and summer of bookings as pandemic weary holidaymakers stay close to home. Jet setters will also divert their holiday plans to local destinations. That means luxury, remote and adventurous travel startups will instigate more competition for budding and existing Airbnb hosts as they attempt to claw back last year’s pandemic losses.
- Fifty miles or less from home? Tick.
- Fresh country or sea air? Tick.
- Sparsely populated village with a nice pub? Tick.
- Farm or local shops and restaurants that deliver? Tick.
- Wifi for streaming? Tick.
- Dog, cat or pet goldfish friendly? Tick.
- Garden? Tick.
- Dishwasher? Tick?
- Family-size fridge large for groceries, bottles of wine and beer? Tick.
- Great area for cycling? Tick.
- Luxury and adventure? Tick.
The above checklist highlights some of the most popular deciding factors for UK holidaymakers in 2021. If you are an Airbnb host that can deliver the above, prepare for a bumper spring and summer. If you have a heated pool and a large garden, you’re laughing.
Give me space
Once people will be allowed to travel, they will. All the more reason that late Spring and summer 2021 will see a spike in Airbnb bookings, especially once the UK eases its lockdown measures and vulnerable members of the population (i.e. elderly care home residents, their carers, other elderly and NHS staff) are largely vaccinated by the Spring.
“A resilient segment for the business of Airbnb is short-distance travel within 50 miles of guest origin,” said a Visual Capitalist report. “As the pandemic has expanded, people are taking vacations from their abodes by visiting less densely populated neighbouring communities,” said the report.
Remote, adventurous and upmarket
Demand for more upmarket and adventurous domestic trips — itineraries that would provide both an escape from the crowds and a proxy for the excitement of a far-flung jaunt, emerged in late 2020, according to the FT’s How to Spend it.
Wildnis founded in October plans to launch fully to guests this spring, offering luxury guided expeditions in the Scottish Highlands.
“Founded by former members of the British army, it uses a mobile base camp where [Michelin trained] chefs prepare dinners on open fires and barbecues, and a fleet of Land Rover Defenders to take guests between activities including pack-rafting, scrambling and sea kayaking. Prices start at £3,000 per person for a four-night trip,” reported the FT.
Did you know?
Airbnb users who have selected English as their primary language in-app can access the Urgent Support Line anywhere in the world, and connect with specialised support agents who are standing by 24/7 to assist should an urgent issue arise. What this means is that even if you’re located in a country where English is not the primary language, as long as you have selected English as your primary language, you’ll have access to the Urgent Support Line. This is a service useful for hosts and guests.
The Business of Airbnb in numbers
In 2019, Airbnb had nearly 5 million rooms available, a “mammoth of a figure considering” the next largest was Marriott at 1.3 million, according to a report by Visual Capitalist.
“The company is a giant thorn in the hotel industry’s side,” said the report, “and their room count is approximately the size of the five largest hotel chains combined. There is still plenty of room to grow. Airbnb identifies its total addressable market (TAM) to be worth $3.4 trillion.”
With a market cap of $90bn, many would find it surprising that Airbnb has lost money every year—and the company’s cumulative losses total $2.8 billion since 2008.
Airbnb bookings and experiences saw signs of recovery last summer after the first lockdown eased. According to Visualcapitalist, figures were increasing to the 20 million range, which reflects pre-pandemic levels.