Brian Chesky

“We’ve seen a paradigm shift in how people are searching for travel on Airbnb,” CEO Brian Chesky said in an interview with Yahoo Finance, following the company’s release of its first financial results as a public company last week.

“It used to be that people knew where they were going. That’s why there’s a search box [that asks] where are you going? Now 40 per cent of our guests who come on Airbnb either don’t have a location in mind or don’t have a date in mind,” he continued, explaining the reasoning behind the company’s recently launched ‘flexible search’ option.

The option gives would-be travellers the chance to look for places to stay open-endedly, without having a specific location or dates in mind, reflecting the desire of many to get away, despite not knowing when they will be able to.

“The reality is, they are in a house. They are saying, ‘I feel stuck. I’ll go anywhere within a couple hundred-mile radius. I want to go in next couple of months.’ We’re allowing more flexibility,” Mr Chesky goes on to say.

Noting that fewer people are travelling for business, the CEO explained that leisure travellers within the current climate are more open-minded in their approach, without set destinations and dates in mind due to the ability to continue working remotely from wherever they are.

Yahoo Finance reports that Airbnb fared better than expected when it came to revenue during its first quarter as a public company, despite gross bookings being down 31 per cent year-over-year.

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