Last week, many of us received Twitter or email alerts announcing that Airbnb will be going through a major redesign. CEO Brian Chesky, described it as “the biggest change to Airbnb in a decade.” The main change is the ability to search for homes through a different set of filters. In particular, users will now be presented with 56 categories, organizing homes and apartments based on their style, location, or proximity to a travel activity.
Airbnb said on their earnings call two weeks ago that their global listings were above 6 million and the highest they have ever been so the data from the graph in the post is a couple of quarters stale. But the point made is valid and important because their bookings have grown much faster than supply and it will become a gating factor to growth if they can't grow supply at a rate similar to what they would like to grow bookings. The bookings growth during the past two years has been predominantly been driven by the US as EMEA has lagged and APAC has lagged even more given more of a reliance on cross border travel and more intense COVID lockdowns. The company believes that supply will come back in those markets as restrictions ease and supply will also return in urban US markets i.e. NYC and SF as demand picks back up. The pricing study is interesting -- I would have thought the pricing gaps were still higher than they are displayed in that chart. There are probably a few more ways to cut the data given the greater availability of options on Airbnb and difficulty in ascertaining what is "comparable value" pricing from hotels vs. Airbnbs. How the company will perform in a recession and if they will fall victim to the demand "mean reversion" that has impacted Zoom, Netflix, Peloton, etc also seems very relevant to the business performance over the next couple of years. I am a bit skeptical that this product change will have much of an impact on usage (but that could be because I am biased by using Airbnb typically when I have a location and date already in mind). I was surprised to hear you like Airbnbs as I thought you would prefer the "consistency" of the hotel experience. You should try New Hampshire for your summer hiking vacation! Lots of good hiking options (not sure about the wifi)