Airbnb’s foundation may be crumbling

Experts debate Airbnb’s viability

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The Future. As vacationing preferences change, where Airbnb makes money shifts as well. That may frustrate all the new hosts who bought the company’s story of consistent income, but it could also demonstrate Airbnb’s fortunes are tied to having rental properties everywhere in order to capitalize on cultural trends.

There’s a debate raging about whether Airbnb is doing well.

  • The company itself is on good footing, with bookings up 19% from last year and its stock up 3%.
  • But where people are going is shifting. During the pandemic, travelers were flocking to lakes, beaches, and mountains to take advantage of remote work creating an economic boom in those regions.
  • Now, people are returning to cities as COVID has mostly subsided from mainstream concerns.
  • That means the folks who bought properties to rent out (especially the professional hosts with multiple listings) are facing a major revenue drop-off.

Since Airbnb aggressively signed up homeowners to become hosts in these once-desirable areas, the company may face a community backlash for having joined under false pretenses. But it’s hard to make a case against supply and demand.

No matter what, we’ll get more clarity on the situation during Airbnb’s next quarterly earnings report on August 1st.


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