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Airbnb predicts more families will host due to inflation pressures

Rising inflation may drive more families to become Airbnb hosts, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky said on Tuesday in an earnings call. Addressing investor concerns over a limited supply of rentals on the platform as demand increases, Chesky, 40, said he expected bookings to rebound to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels for the first time in the current quarter. The prediction comes as concerns over the Omicron variant have waned, and people are more comfortable traveling. “We think probably the biggest growth area is going to be individuals,” Chesky said of the year ahead. “And the reason why is because things like inflation are providing more pressure on families all over the world, and they’re going to require economic opportunity to be able to make it through this difficult time.” With US consumer prices soaring at their fastest annual pace in 40 years, Chesky’s comments highlight the pressure this has put on American households. Data provided shows that Airbnb had 6 million active listings, compared to 5.6 million a year ago. Chesky pegged the increase to the easing of pandemic restrictions, along with efforts by the company to increase marketability and improve hosting tools. According to the data, in Airbnb’s final quarter of 2021, price increases were the driving force behind revenue and profits, which came in higher than initially expected. Revenue increased 78% from last year, and 38% from 2019, to $1.5 billion. In the current quarter, Airbnb said it expects revenue between $1.41 billion and $1.48 billion.

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