Airbnb sees strong first-quarter revenue on travel resurgence | Business and Economy News

Guests of the short-term home rental company are staying longer and paying higher prices.

Airbnb Inc on Tuesday forecast better-than-expected first-quarter revenue after the short-term home rental company reported strong quarterly results on rising domestic travel and longer stays by guests at higher prices.

The company, based in San Francisco, California in the United States, expects current-quarter revenue between $1.41bn and $1.48bn, higher than analysts’ estimates of $1.24bn, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

While Airbnb was initially hit by the coronavirus pandemic, its business rebounded quickly as people took trips closer to home where they stayed for longer to work remotely. The trend has since continued with “non-urban gross nights” booked up about 45 percent in the fourth quarter versus 2019.

“Nearly half of our nights booked in Q4 were for stays of a week or longer. One in five nights booked were for stays of a month or longer,” the company said.

Strong demand also helped push up prices charged by hosts, with average daily rates during the fourth quarter up 20 percent at $154. The company expects the higher rates to bolster first-quarter results.

Airbnb has also got a boost from pent-up travel demand, with the hospitality sector shrugging off a temporary impact from the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Marriott International Inc earlier on Tuesday reported results that beat Wall Street estimates and the hotel chain said travel recovery remained intact.

Airbnb, which is not particularly reliant on big cities to generate revenue, expects first-quarter bookings to significantly exceed pre-pandemic levels, leading to a record gross booking value.

The fourth quarter was helped by strong bookings in North and Latin America versus 2019, but Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific regions were a drag, according to the company.

Airbnb reported revenue of $1.53bn, compared with estimates of $1.46bn.

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