Airbnb bets on strong summer travel to drive revenue growth

FILE PHOTO: Airbnb logo is seen displayed in this illustration taken, May 3, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) – Vacation rental firm Airbnb Inc projected second-quarter revenue above market estimates on Tuesday, betting on pent-up demand to drive a strong summer travel season after COVID-19 curbs were eased globally.

The San Francisco-based firm expects revenue between $2.03 billion and $2.13 billion, compared with the average analyst expectation of $1.96 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

The rise of hybrid working has in recent months encouraged people to book longer and more frequent stays in destinations away from cities, giving a boost to rental providers.

Airbnb, which made a slew of changes to its service last year to take advantage of the post-pandemic travel rebound, said it posted the strongest growth for gross nights booked in non-urban areas in first three months of 2022.

“In Q1, long-term stays of 28 days or more remained our fastest-growing category by trip length compared to 2019,” the company said in a statement.

Gross booked nights in urban destinations also posted strong growth and rose above pre-pandemic levels thanks to the return of international travel, while nights and experiences bookings – a key metric of the platform’s performance – exceeded 100 million for the first time.

That along with a 37% surge in average daily rates over 2019 levels drove Airbnb’s revenue 70% higher from a year earlier.

Online travel websites Expedia Group Inc and Trivago NV had also posted higher quarterly revenues on Monday as demand returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Airbnb reported a smaller net loss of $18.8 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.17 billion, or $1.95 per share, a year earlier.

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