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Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky: Expect longer trips after COVID-19

June 9, 2021, 12:39 PM UTC

Traveling may never be the same after COVID-19.

For starters, people have grown used to the flexibility that working remotely has afforded them, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said Tuesday during Fortune’s Global Forum conference. Because many people don’t have to return to physical offices, they have more leeway to plan vacations and travel plans “anytime,” Chesky said.

After all, “when you have to go back to the office on a Monday, you can’t go to Europe,” he noted.

Chesky has also noticed that people are taking longer vacations, another trend that’s likely to remain. He added that “about a quarter of our business by nights booked are actually monthly stays.”

“So this actually means people aren’t just traveling in Airbnb, they’re now living in Airbnb,” Chesky said.

This means that people may reduce their number of short trips lasting just a few days.  

“I think the days of people getting on a plane to go to Europe for just three, four, five days is probably going to diminish, and people are going to realize that it’s a better deal to travel longer,” Chesky said. 

He even expects business travel to follow trends in consumer travel, which means executives may be spending more days on the road as opposed to booking a quick flight for a customer meeting in another city. 

For those who used to work in major cities like San Francisco or New York but moved away during the pandemic, Chesky anticipates that they will likely book extended visits to their company headquarters.

“I think these longer-term stays for business travelers are probably the future of business,” Chesky said. “And I think one- to two-night stays are probably going to not quite come back.”