According to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, travel demand is improving, but business travel will never be the same as it was before the coronavirus outbreak. “It doesn’t mean business travel is dead, just business travel as we knew it isn’t coming back the way it was,” Chesky stated in an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow on May 25, 2021. “The reason why is the bar is higher to get on a plane to do a meeting.” People have been grounded for more than a year, and according to Chesky, most of what they used to perform at work can now be done online.

People now have what they didn’t have a year or two ago, according to Chesky. They have a lot of freedom in terms of where they go, live, and work, and they’re starting to use it. Chesky believes that once people possess something, they are unwilling to let it go. Despite the lack of a complete reopening of cross-border travel, according to Chesky, Airbnb, a platform for finding and booking rooms in 220 countries and regions around the world, has already seen travel activity return to 2019 levels.

Airbnb is now betting that the future of travel will be defined by flexibility. New ways to search and a simpler onboarding procedure for new listings are among the more than 100 enhancements and updates revealed by the firm to better serve both visitors and hosts. According to the business, people are becoming more flexible in terms of where and when they travel, as well as staying in areas for longer periods of time. Chesky noted at a news briefing that nearly 25% of bookings in the first quarter of 2021 were for stays of 28 days or longer.