• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Airbnb posts record revenue up 24% in Q4 and $2.76b annual profit as travel booms

There has been plenty of talk on social media recently about travellers giving up on Airbnb and going back to hotels or switching to competitors.

Earlier this month, an engineering director at Google tweeted, “I think Airbnb is over for me” – gaining almost 90,000 likes.

The Google worker, Adriana Porter Felt, said an angry Airbnb host sent her an invoice for an additional cleaning charge because she didn’t vacuum, despite paying a $US185 ($A268) cleaning fee and having already “stripped the beds, and took the trash to the local trash centre”.

Similar disputes between Airbnb hosts and guests were shared in response to the viral post, with many declaring they had ditched Airbnb for hotels or another platform.

“I was out when I showed up at one to find out I was expected to bring my own bed sheets,” one person wrote.

“They [the Airbnb host] complained about the floor being wet, but I didn’t have any towels to wipe anything up. I like hotels. They have towels,” wrote another.

“We once got charged a cleaning fee for a stain on a mattress of a bed that we never slept on in a room we never entered. It’s just ridiculous,” added a third.

However, any notion Airbnb is being shunned by travellers was squashed by the company on Wednesday when it released its 2022 Q4 results.

The company reported its first annual profit ever, with revenue surging in the final three months of 2022 as travel bookings rebounded.

Airbnb finished the last year with an annual profit of $US1.9 billion ($A2.76 billion), a big turnaround from a loss of $US352 million ($A512 million) the prior year.

Airbnb also said it made a profit of $US319 million ($A464 million) in the final quarter of last year (a 24 per cent increase year on year).

According to the company, that increase was driven by the stable growth in nights and experiences booked.

During the quarter, 88.2 million nights and experiences were booked – a 20 per cent increase from a year ago and its highest fourth quarter ever.

Guests are also staying longer at Airbnbs. The gross number of nights booked in Q4 2022 for more than a week were 40 per cent higher than Q4 2019.

“We are excited to see the continued strong demand in [the first quarter of this year],” Airbnb said in a letter to investors.

“We’re particularly encouraged by European guests booking their summer travel earlier this year, the market share gains we are seeing in Latin America, as well as the continued recovery within Asia Pacific.”

Airbnb shares were up more than 9 per cent in aftermarket trade after the earnings figures came out.

People are getting back to crossing international borders and visiting cities in forms of travel that were “Airbnb’s bread and butter before the pandemic,” Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky said on an earnings call.

Airbnb ended the year with its highest number of active listings ever – 6.6 million – which was an increase of 900,000 compared to the year before.

These figures did not include the removal of all listings in mainland China, which Airbnb decided to do in July last year.

Late last year, Airbnb also made it easier for people to offer their homes for rent on its platform.

news.com.au contacted Airbnb for comment.

– with AFP

Read related topics:AirBnB

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