How Will Airbnb Bounce Back From the Pandemic?

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The popular vacation rental site, Airbnb, was booming before the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The company had just become public, and then the pandemic hit, and bookings (as expected) went down. The company floundered. But, somehow, Airbnb found its footing and came back from the brink of bankruptcy. So, how did they do it? And what is the outlook now for Airbnb?

In this article, we’ll discuss will Airbnb bounce back from the pandemic and what Airbnb did to come back from the brink of disaster.

Did Airbnb Recover From the Pandemic?

In short, yes, Airbnb has come back from almost total failure after the pandemic. A few months after the pandemic started, bookings dropped by nearly 75%. Additionally, its public valuation went down by 50%.

However, recently, the company has made a dramatic upward turn. Bookings have resumed since the lockdowns and travel rules were eased. The company is now headed toward a $30 billion valuation.

How Did Airbnb Recover From the Pandemic?

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Several tactics used by Airbnb led the company to survive the pandemic and make a recovery when the world opened up again. Firstly, there was private funding that kept the company afloat while they made critical changes. Such changes included Airbnb cutting its marketing costs, slashing its executive salaries, and changing its marketing focus.

For example, they started to target remote workers looking for long-term rentals, rather than short-term vacationers. They focused on this area and addressed the pandemic customer needs to find a haven to weather the quarantine. Airbnb also focused on basic employee needs, which created loyalty, and helped them turn the company around.

Did Airbnb Scale Back During the Pandemic?

During the pandemic, the leadership team at Airbnb realized they needed to make quick and definite changes to operations in order to survive. Travel changed forever. So, the company streamlined its offerings, scaled back, and changed its primary focus.

The main change in operations was that the company began catering to remote workers who needed longer stays, rather than holidaymakers. People wanted to go to out-of-the-way rural places and stay away from big-city destinations. So, in the last part of 2020, more people chose Sicily over Florence and Venice, and Devon over Oxford. As a result, Airbnb began to market the small area vacation.

What Did Airbnb Hosts Do During the Pandemic?

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Many Airbnb hosts – aka property owners – had to decide what to do when global travel came almost entirely to a halt during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Many people decided to simply sell their houses, many opting to sell fast for cash to an investor. In short, they took the money and ran!

Other homeowners that hosted on Airbnb, but only offered a private room listing to guests, had to make a tough decision as well. If they didn’t want to sell, what could they do? Several homeowners were debating moving vs remodeling their house to assess what would be the most financially beneficial.

Many other Airbnb hosts simply decided to wait it out and weather the storm of the pandemic. This was also a main contributor in helping Airbnb, as a company, hold its footing and survive the pandemic.

To capitalize on the situation, many homeowners and Airbnb hosts doubled down on their home-buying efforts. Vacation rentals in places near national parks, or in the mountains/woods, did incredibly well after the initial lockdown.

This encouraged more people to purchase a vacation home and become Airbnb hosts. If people were strategic, they did arguably better than in previous years as a host. Airbnb was also able to continue floating through the pandemic with the help of this trend.


To answer the question, “Will Airbnb bounce back from the pandemic?”, the answer is yes, because it already has! Airbnb has made an incredible comeback, and the travel business is again booming but in a different way. Because more people work from home and schools are available virtually, people can be away from home for extended periods of several weeks to several months.

Airbnb has taught us a great deal. So many businesses have been waiting for things to go back to normal, but things may never be the same. If you want to succeed in this new era, you need to scale back, change your focus and become more flexible. In doing this, you will find even more success.

Are you thinking about selling a vacation rental property? At Brotherly Love Real Estate, we buy houses fast for cash in Philadelphia and San Diego. Learn more about selling to us (with no mortgage closing costs and a sale in as little as 21 days) by calling our expert team for an offer at (215) 769-9875.