Airbnb co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky is confident that his company is set to benefit from a future where people enjoy more flexible living and working arrangements.
In an interview with CNBC, Chesky said he believes the sustained adoption of remote work by many companies in the U.S. and elsewhere will create a new segment of "working travelers".
To help his company cater to that segment, Chesky has embarked on a nationwide tour of the U.S., staying in Airbnb homes across the country in an effort to understand and “improve the experience” for customers.
“They can do what I do – I’m running a pretty large company off of a laptop with another person’s WiFi in their home,” Chesky told CNBC’s TechCheck. “If I can do my job from a house in Atlanta, that means a lot of people could travel all over the world and live, not just travel.”
Airbnb wants to capture this emerging new segment of working travelers by generating experiences that help those individuals feel as if they’re a part of a community, rather than just traveling to some new, temporary destination. Chesky didn’t say much about how the home rental firm will go about creating those experiences, but he said it is looking to make improvements to its services ahead of an expected travel surge this summer.
The CEO believes bookings on Airbnb will skyrocket once restrictions on international travel are lifted.
“There is a huge boom that’s going to be coming to Airbnb,” Chesky insisted. “Before the pandemic, half our business was cross-border. As borders do reopen, that will be another tailwind for us.”
Chesky’s confidence comes as Airbnb’s stock started the year on a negative trend, down almost 6% in 2022. However, Airbnb has fared better than the overall tech-heavy Nasdaq index, which is down about 12% this year.