Airbnb's quarterly revenue topped Wall Street expectations and the company on Thursday said a rebound in global travel amid rising vaccination rates in the last three months of the year would drive growth in 2022.
International travel search volumes have been rising as countries, including the US, start to ease pandemic-related restrictions for fully vaccinated visitors.
Easing lockdowns helped Airbnb recover from a steep drop in business early last year as leisure-seeking domestic travellers booked homes away from major cities. The short-term home rental company now expects cross-border travel to further boost its revenue.
“We are seeing recovery in both longer-distance and cross-border travel this year, while domestic and short-distance travel continue to be more popular than 2019 levels,” the company said.
Airbnb said the recovery was dominated by North America and Europe — regions with higher average daily rates. It rose 15 per cent to about $149 in the third quarter from a year earlier.
For the Thanksgiving week in the US, Airbnb said as of September 30, nights booked are 40 per cent higher than same period in 2019.
With the pandemic causing a permanent step up in the lodging industry mix, analysts expect Airbnb to continue to grow in the alternative accommodation market, in which it has a more than 50 per cent share among global online travel agents.
In the third quarter, gross bookings rose 48.8 per cent to $11.9 billion. However, it missed market expectations of $12.23bn.
Revenue rose 66.7 per cent to $2.24bn, beating estimates of $2.05bn. Net income surged nearly four times to $833.9 million from a year earlier.
Airbnb forecast fourth-quarter revenue between $1.39bn and $1.48bn. Analysts on average estimated $1.44bn, Refinitiv data showed.