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Airbnb’s sentiments on knife-edge despite relative positivity in Q1 2021, says GlobalData

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Airbnb’s sentiment score was moderately high at 0.73 (scale of 0 to 1) in Q1 2021*, according to GlobalData, with top themes in its earnings transcript report including mobile payments, regulation and geopolitics. The company’s sentiments were slightly higher than average for the T&T sector**, and it seems to have gained resilience by scaling back on growth areas and focusing on core operations’ .

Rinaldo Pereira, Senior Business Fundamentals Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The terms ‘Travel’ and ‘Summer Travel’ were among the top keywords in Airbnb’s transcript, alongside ‘Hosts’/‘Hosting’ and ‘Investment’/‘Investing. ‘Online Travel’ is likely to be a bright spot in 2021 as this market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% between 2019 and 2023. In fact, the market value of online travel is likely cross the $1 trillion mark by 2024**.”

Ralph Hollister, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData says: “Airbnb is in an ideal position to capitalize on this growth, especially in the ‘new normal’. The pandemic has meant that many travellers are now looking to holiday in domestic and rural locations away from urban areas, especially while travel restrictions and uncertainty are both still present. The company’s online-focused, asset-light business model has allowed it to react quickly to changes caused by the pandemic, which has meant that Airbnb has fared much better in the past year compared to more traditional types of lodging providers.”

Pereira concludes: “Other key themes for Airbnb were ‘Social and Digital Media’. GlobalData’s week 11 COVID-19 consumer survey**** revealed that 24% of respondents spend ‘slightly’ or ‘significantly’ more time on social media than before COVID-19. Furthermore, a Q1 2021 survey***** found that 73% of respondents are ‘continuing to’ and ‘more frequently’ spend time online. Airbnb’s digital and social media endorsements will further help it gain traction as it steps towards gradual recovery.”

* Q4 2020 (ended December 2020) earnings transcript released on 25 February 2021

** until 22 March 2021

*** GlobalData’s Thematic Research report: Online Travel (2021), published February 2021

**** GlobalData’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Recovery Consumer Survey Results: Week 11, published December 2020

***** GlobalData’s 2021 Q1 Consumer Survey, published March 2021