As Airbnb rolls out dozens of updates, CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky said the company is “stepping on the gas” after a major revamp during the pandemic.
Chesky told “CBS Mornings” in an exclusive interview Thursday that Airbnb hasn’t had any widespread layoffs since early 2020, when he said it lost about 80% of its business during the COVID-19 shutdowns. Now, as travel restrictions are lifted and more people are traveling, he said the company expects more than 300 million guest arrivals at its properties in 2023.
“We are expanding pretty aggressively,” Chesky said. “A lot of people want to travel and we want to lean into that.”
He said the great thing about Airbnb is it’s a “pretty resilient model.”
“We realized that people still travel, they still love Airbnb,” he said. “So we just hunkered down. We basically rebuilt the company from the ground up, and it’s stronger than ever now.”
Airbnb announced more than 50 updates this week to address some of its users’ biggest concerns, such as hidden fees, security and prices. Chesky said the changes came after his team analyzed millions of customer service calls, social media posts and guest reviews.
One of the features is “Airbnb Rooms,” which aims to make it easier for users to book a stay in a spare room instead of an entire home.
Looking ahead, Chesky said he wants Airbnb to be more than just a platform for people to find a place to stay.
“It’s about connecting people,” he said. “It’s about bringing people together through cultures all over the world, and I’ve got to be honest, I think the world probably needs that more than ever right now.”
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