Sep 13, 2022 - Economy & Business

Airbnb CEO: Travel is the antidote to endless scrolling

Brian Chesky, man in white button down and black blazer smiling

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO — Travel may play a different role than it has in the past.

What they're saying: It will become "the antidote to us endlessly scrolling on a screen or watching something or buying something or working," Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said at Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology conference.

Why it matters: The pandemic ushered in new habits for living and working remotely, but people are craving human connection more than ever.

State of play: Time spent in front of screens increased dramatically during the pandemic.

  • Mental health declined as lockdowns and remote work kept people isolated.

What they're saying: Our offices are now in our homes, movie theaters in our living rooms and shopping is done on our phones, said Chesky.

  • "I think we want a means to leave our house and to get off screens. And I think that's what travel is going to do in the coming decade," he said.
  • "The type of travel that’s going to emerge is not necessarily old school business travel [or] people with selfie sticks in front of a landmark."
  • "It’s going to be the reason why travel was special in the first place — connecting with other people, [whether that's] connecting to your friends and family to reunite, to go to conferences to meet one another or to just make friendships. ”

What to watch: Pre-pandemic, travel was dominated by the top 100 cities in the world, according to Chesky.

  • But now, people are going to 100,000 cities and discovering many more places.
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