Airbnb CEO: travel can never be the same

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky told Axios in an interview that global travel may never fully recover, and that he sees a future in which people travel much more within their own countries, possibly for stays. longer.

Driving the news: “I will go to the registry to say that the trip will never be the way it was before COVID; it just won’t,” Chesky told us by Zoom from his home in San Francisco. “Sometimes there are months when decades of transformation occur.”

Chesky, who said to travel has changed more tectonically than during the Great Recession of 2008, he said Airbnb data shows these trends:

  • “People don’t get on planes, they don’t cross borders, they don’t travel significantly to cities, they don’t travel on business.”
  • “They get in the cars. They travel to communities 200 miles or less away. These are generally very small communities. They stay in homes and stay longer.”

Airbnb says business within countries, it has recovered to previous levels. But international travel continues devastatingly for the platform.

  • “People will one day go back to the planes,” Chesky said. “But one of the things that I think is a fairly permanent change is … a redistribution of where the travelers are going.”
  • In the past, with what he called “mass tourism,” travelers simply liked 50 or 100 cities. You know, everyone goes to Rome, Paris, London, they stay in the hotel district, they get on the double-decker bus. bus. They wait in line to take a selfie in front of a landmark. “
  • “I think it will decrease as a percentage of future travel, and I think people who visit smaller communities will be displaced, or at least balanced.”

Chesky said he sees A potential boom for National Parks.

  • “Most of the people have not come to them,” he said. “And it’s pretty cheap … You don’t need to buy a plane ticket. You can usually drive because most people live 200 miles from a park.”
  • “So I think you will start to see travel become more intimate, more local, and to smaller communities.”

Chesky said he believes business and convention travel is going to hurt for some time.

  • “I think a lot of people will realize that they don’t need to get on a plane to have a meeting. I mean, I met them in an office, but now we’re at Zoom.”