Airbnb is to reduce its investments in hotels and is laying off 25% of its workforce as the Covid-19 crisis continues to threaten the survival of the travel industry.
In a letter to employees, Airbnb CEO and cofounder Brian Chesky said that business has been ‘hard hit’ with revenue this year expected to be less than half of what the company earned in 2019.
As well as reducing its investments in hotels and Airbnb Luxe, it will ‘pause’ efforts in transportation, including flights and Airbnb Studios.
The short-term rental startup said that nearly 1,900 employees will be made redundant worldwide, out of 7.500, as it battles to emerge from the pandemic.
“We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime, and as it began to unfold, global travel came to a standstill,” Chesky said in the letter.
Airbnb acquired platform HotelTonight in 2019, and whilst it will continue to operate this, it won’t be investing in adding new hotel properties to the site.
“This crisis has sharpened our focus to get back to our roots, back to the basics, back to what is truly special about Airbnb — everyday people who host their homes and offer experiences,” added Chesky.