San Francisco, June 21 (IANS) As communities around the world slowly begin to open their doors, global travel company Airbnb is expecting a surge in bookings owing to the pent-up travel demand.
According to the company, over the weekend of June 5-7, gross booking value grew in year-over-year terms for the first time since February, when the coronavirus began to destroy its business, reports CNBC.
“Like all businesses that involve human interaction, the sharing economy took a huge hit when Covid-19 emerged and shelter-in-place was enforced. But some areas have started to rebound. One example is domestic vacation rentals – people are itching to get out of their homes but not yet ready to get on a plane,” Roelof Botha, a partner at Sequoia Capital and an early Airbnb investor, was quoted as saying.
The San Francisco-based company fired a quarter of its workforce in May and refocused its efforts on rentals and experiences.
“This crisis has sharpened our focus to get back to our roots, back to the basics, back to what is truly special about Airbnb – everyday people who host their homes and offer experiences,” said co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky in a letter to his employees on May 5.
“This is a challenging time for Airbnb and everyone in travel and as we go forward, it’s critical that we are one of the best run companies in the world,” Chesky added.
Airbnb in May hired Tara Bunch, who served as Vice President of AppleCare for eight years, as its Global Head of Operations.
Bunch will oversee Airbnb’s customer service, trust and safety and payments teams and report directly to Chesky.