Airbnb said bookings would for the first time rebound to pre-pandemic levels in the current quarter, with concern over Omicron having “quickly dissipated” and travelers becoming more comfortable to get away.
“Guests are confidently booking for the summer travel season early in the year,” wrote chief executive Brian Chesky in a letter to investors, saying bookings for the peak travel months were 25 per cent higher than what had been seen at the same point in 2019 .
“In the US and Europe in particular, we are seeing lead-time for bookings made in Q1 2022 return to pre-pandemic levels.”
There has been strong growth in Latin America too, he wrote, while the Asia-Pacific region was still lagging behind.
In 2021’s final quarter, according to figures published on Tuesday, higher prices were the driving force behind revenue and profits coming in higher than expected, despite nightly bookings still not quite reaching pre-pandemic levels at that time.
In the October to December period, the number of “nights and experiences” booked – which includes Airbnb’s much smaller events and tour guide business – was up 59 per cent on 2020, but still 3 per cent below the same level in the 2019 quarter.
But an average nightly fee of $ 153.61, more than a third higher than before the pandemic, saw total gross bookings value increase 91 per cent year on year, and 32 per cent against 2019.
Revenue of $ 1.5bn was up 78 per cent year on year, and 38 per cent against 2019. Airbnb projected revenue of between $ 1.41bn and $ 1.48bn for the current quarter.
Read more about Airbnb’s results