Airbnb is sacking a quarter of its employees as home-sharing demand has collapsed, especially in the holiday sector like in Spain’s Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca areas.
THE property portal has around seven million properties worldwide on its books, many of which are in tourist hotspots like Spain.
The coronavirus pandemic has wiped out demand, and chief executive Brian Chesky has announced that 1,900 of its 7,500 workers are going.
Airbnb is also slashing businesses that do not directly support home-sharing, such as its investments in hotels and air travel.
“We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime,” Chesky said.
He expected the company’s revenues to drop by at least 50 per cent this year, and have a prediction as to what the world of travel would be like in a post-pandemic era.
Chesky takes the view that travellers will want options that are closer to home and more affordable, and for that reason, Airbnb is cutting back investing in more expensive luxury properties.
“We need to make fundamental changes to Airbnb by reducing the size of our workforce around a more focused business strategy,” he said.
The company boss recently angered many of Airbnb’s hosts when he told guests they could cancel their stays without penalties as international coronavirus lockdowns hit their travel plans.
In early April, Airbnb agreed to pay hosts compensation to make up for some of the money lost to cancellations.
The firm is now letting people who were planning to check in by June 15 to cancel without penalties.