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Expand chart
Data: TSA. Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky will argue this week that the world is undergoing a "travel revolution," in which some parts of the industry stay shrunk but the sector ultimately comes back "bigger than ever."

Why it matters: Chesky, who faced the abyss when the world shut down last year, foresees a significant shift in how people move around, with more intentional gatherings of family, friends and colleagues — even if routine business travel is never what it once was.

Driving the news: Chesky will unveil his "revolution" this week at the Skift Global Forum, a gathering of travel-industry leaders (in-person, of course — vaccinated-only, near JFK airport). Among Chesky's top points:

  • Travel will be back bigger than ever — just not like it was in 2019. People have been isolated on a scale and for a duration never seen before, and want to come together.
  • The flexibility created by remote work is driving this shift. Zoom is the latest to disrupt travel, following revolutions by steam engines, mass-produced cars and commercial air travel.

A factor helping the travel business, Chesky will argue:

  • Extended weekends are on the rise. Airbnb says bookings for three- and four- day weekends with families are up 70% from Q2 2019 to Q2 2021.
  • Long-term stays (28+ nights) were Airbnb's fastest-growing trip-length category in Q2 data. Airbnb says its surveys show people plan to continue extended getaways.

The big picture: Domestic flight demand remains far off pre-pandemic levels.

  • Online bookings last month reached $4 billion, a decline of 35% from August 2019 and 24% from this July.
  • Year-to-date through August, total domestic bookings represent $38 billion, down 30% from the same period in 2019.
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Go deeper

Nov 30, 2021 - Economy & Business

Travel whiplash: Omicron upends holiday plans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Just when it seemed safe to travel overseas again, along comes Omicron.

Why it matters: The emergence of the new coronavirus variant couldn't come at a worse time, just weeks before millions of people are expected to travel for the holidays to reunite with loved ones they've missed during the pandemic.

Axios Investigates

Exclusive: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Data: Axios research, Airbnb, Australian Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor, an Axios investigation has found.

Why it matters: The listings expose Airbnb to regulatory risk under U.S. law. They also land yet another American tech company in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.

Nov 30, 2021 - Podcasts

An investigation into Airbnb rentals in China

Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian has found that Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region, on land owned by the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, an organization sanctioned by the U.S. for complicity in the genocide and forced labor of the minority-Muslim Uyghur population.

  • Plus, the new lure of "buy now, pay later" online.
  • And, on this Giving Tuesday — how the CEO and co-founder of CAVA views philanthropy.

Guests: Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian and Erica Pandey; and CAVA CEO Brett Shulman.

Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Julia Redpath, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Alex Sugiura, Sabeena Singhani, David Toledo and Jayk Cherry. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

Go deeper:

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