“The journey will never be the way it was before COVID.”
That’s the grim view of Airbnb Inc. co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky in an interview published Sunday by Axios.
“I will return to say that the trip will never be as it was before COVID. It just won’t, “Chesky told Axios.” Sometimes there are months when decades of transformation occur. “
Chesky predicted that vacationers will stay closer to home in the future, greatly limiting their travel to places within walking distance, with national parks that will become even more popular destinations.
“I think you will begin to see travel become more intimate, more local, to smaller communities,” he said, citing Airbnb data showing that travel within countries is recovering to normal levels. But his international business is still being hit hard. “People don’t get on planes, they don’t cross borders, they don’t travel significantly to cities, they don’t travel on business.”
Read: Is it safer to stay in a hotel or on an Airbnb during your summer vacation? ‘We need to balance sanity and risk’
“People will one day go back to the planes,” Chesky told Axios. “But one of the things that I think is a fairly permanent change is … a redistribution of where the travelers are going.”
Chesky said the changes hurt the convention business for years to come. “I think a lot of people will realize that they don’t need to get on a plane to have a meeting,” he said.
While his business is improving, the global closings caused by the coronavirus pandemic had a devastating effect on Airbnb. The San Francisco-based company laid off nearly 25% of its workforce in early May and raised around $ 2 billion in equity and debt to increase its bottom line. It seems unlikely that its long-awaited initial public offering will occur soon, although Cheskly told Bloomberg News in June that “we did not rule out going public this year.”