Airbnb CEO Says Travel Will Never Be The Way It Was Before The Pandemic By Reuters

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By Subrat Patnaik (Reuters) – Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky predicted on Thursday that travel would change permanently due to the pandemic, with people searching thousands of smaller cities and spending more time visiting friends and family. Traditional tourism and sightseeing in major world destinations would be significantly reduced by travelers driving to smaller communities and flying less for business meetings. The startup was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 and its business fell 80% in just over eight weeks. However, as blockades decreased, more travelers opted to book houses rather than hotels, helping Airbnb post a surprise profit for the third quarter. The San Francisco-based firm benefited from growing interest in renting homes outside of major cities. The home rental company went public in a successful initial public offering in December, and its shares more than doubled on its debut on the stock exchange. Airbnb shares rose as much as 10% to a record high of $ 187.42 on Thursday. WILL NOT FACILITATE VIOLENCE The rental platform has canceled reservations to share homes in the Washington DC area for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden next Wednesday after law enforcement warned of a threat from armed militias. Speaking at the Reuters Next conference, Chesky recalled the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and said he did not want the platform to make it easier for people who travel to commit violence in communities. Airbnb made the decision after consulting with local and federal officials and after several hosts became concerned about possible attacks and tried to cancel reservations. However, major hotel chains, including Hilton Worldwide Holdings (NYSE 🙂 Inc and Marriott International (NASDAQ :), have said they plan to keep existing reservations. For more information on the Reuters Next conference, click here or http://www.reuters.com/business/reuters-next. To watch Reuters Next live, visit https://www.reutersevents.com/events/next/register. php

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