Airbnb boss admits the company almost collapsed when the Covid-19 pandemic hit

The boss of Airbnb has admitted they almost lost the whole business that had taken 12 years to build within four to six weeks of the coronavirus pandemic hitting.

BUT co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky told an interview with CNBC that quick action to cut costs, including nearly $1 billion of marketing spend, had saved the holiday rentals company.

Spain is one of the most important European regions for Airbnb with more than 250,000 listings in big cities and coastal resorts. The two most popular Airbnb locations in Spain are the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol, with both having more than 20,000 holiday rental listings.

The Airbnb boss said that the company, which remarkably has more hosts now than before the Covid-19 crisis without any marketing, was now preparing for a whole different travel market moving forward. He said travel would come back, but it was going to take longer than expected.

He said: “Travel as we knew it is over. It doesn’t mean travel is over, just travel we knew is over and is never coming back. Instead of staying in big tourist districts, we are going to see a redistribution of travel. We are going to see people travelling to thousands of local communities because they want to stay close to home.”

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Written by

Helen Barklam

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