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Airbnb CEO Urges Hosts to Lower Pricing in Face of Growing Competition

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has a clear message for hosts: It’s time to lower your prices.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Chesky emphasized the need for Airbnb listings to be more competitively priced when compared to hotels. “We want prices to move and to be more competitive vis-à-vis hotels— that is really important” he stressed.

Contrary to the platform’s current rate comparison tools (which don’t consider nearby hotel rates) Chesky expressed the desire for hosts to be more attuned to the local hotel market. He advocates for a more informed approach by suggesting hosts “look at rates for hotels in their area just so they have a sense of what travelers are getting on other platforms”.

Chesky didn’t shy away from addressing existing problems within the platform, highlighting issues such as affordability, incomplete price details per listing, and the existence of fake listings. He iterated the company’s commitment to rectifying these, stating, “We need to get our house in order”.

This call to action from the CEO comes at a tumultuous time for Airbnb. Despite celebrating its first profitable year in 2022, the platform has been haunted by speculations of an “airbnbust”. Many hosts have voiced concerns over a slump in bookings, rising competition, and dwindling revenues.

Historically, 2021 witnessed a travel boom, pushing revenues to record highs for Airbnb hosts. This success led to an influx of new listings, making the platform even more competitive. Jamie Lane, an economist from vacation analytics firm AirDNA, commented on the situation in 2022, noting, “We’ve seen a big uptick in supply, which means that demand is being spread out over more listings, leading to the occupancy decline”.

According to a prediction by AirDNA last December, 2023 could pose more challenges for hosts, with anticipated lower occupancy rates for short-term rentals than those seen in 2022. Moreover, the number of listings is projected to surge by 9%, suggesting that supply could potentially outstrip demand.

When approached for a comment on the evolving situation and Chesky’s statements, representatives for both Airbnb and the CEO opted to remain silent.

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Avatar for Miguel Ty

Miguel Paolo Ty is an Executive Producer at YugaTech. Outside Yugatech he's known as a Content Producer that specializes in video production. He first joined YugaTech in 2019 as a Multimedia Producer for a year and returned in 2023 as a senior member of the team, poised to produce engaging tech content for the Yugatech audience. Miguel graduated with a degree in Digital Filmmaking at the De La Salle - College of St. Benilde in 2018.

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