Preventing the spread of Coronavirus means hunkering down in quarantine and putting our lives on hold, which of course includes business trips and vacation getaways. That means travel industry players like Airbnb ($PRIVATE:AIRBNB) are also on hold.
According to the New York Times, the home rental start-up, valued at $31 billion, halted hiring efforts and has suspended $800 million of marketing expenses. The company has put its founders’ salaries on hold and cut top executives’ salaries in half. Since the beginning of March, Airbnb slashed job postings by 60%.
AirDNA reported that Airbnb bookings in Europe plummeted 80% in the second week of March, plus 10% a week later. In the US, bookings in New York City, San Francisco and Seattle dropped more than 50% from January to mid-March.
And with fewer people planning trips, fewer people are talking about the company on social media or tagging Airbnb in their vacation posts. Since the end of February, Airbnb’s Facebook mentions fell a staggering 91%, from 50,800 to 4,480
Airbnb’s ratings count in the Apple App store dropped 12% over just five days toward the end of last month.
Airbnb has offered cancellation of any bookings for stays up until May 31, and the company is putting many of its unrented units to good use. Hosts around the world are offering stays to people in need, including healthcare workers and homeless people.
The company also set up a $250 million fund to compensate for up to 25% of hosts’ lost income. While these measures might help guests and hosts in the short term, the future of Airbnb, and tourism in general, remains unclear.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.