Airbnb Puts Focus on Diversity, Reveals Insights on Expansion

SAN FRANCISCO—Airbnb has signaled a focus on diversity and inclusion with its latest executive hire. In addition, the company released the results of a survey from its hosts and guests, revealing that home-sharing is growing as travelers are seeking authentic experiences.

Airbnb Names Head of Global Diversity and Belonging

Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt is joining Airbnb as its new head of global diversity and belonging. In her role at Airbnb, Thomas-Hunt will serve on Airbnb’s executive team and lead the strategy and execution of the company’s global internal diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging programs for Airbnb’s 5,000 employees around the world. An expert on building inclusive, global teams, Thomas-Hunt joins Airbnb from Vanderbilt University, where she served as vice provost for inclusive excellence. Thomas-Hunt will relocate to San Francisco and begin her role on May 13, reporting to Beth Axelrod, VP of global employee experience.

“We aspire to be a global leader in diversity and belonging—not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s core to our mission,” said Brian Chesky, co-founder, CEO and head of community. “To have the impact we want on the world, we have to start inside our own walls and make sure every employee at Airbnb feels like they belong. Melissa is a visionary in this space who has spent her career exploring the causes of inequality, finding solutions to promote inclusion, and producing real change. I am incredibly grateful that she has agreed to bring her leadership and expertise to Airbnb.”

Airbnb Survey Delivers Key Insights

In 2018, 58% of Airbnb’s hosts and booking guests around the world were millennials. These younger travelers have also helped spread the word about Airbnb to others. Today, more than 400,000 senior citizens are hosting on Airbnb and more than 400,000 companies actively manage their business travel with Airbnb, according to the data.

Airbnb regularly surveys hosts and guests. The company is releasing new data regarding the community, along with findings from a recent survey of more than 230,000 hosts and guests around the world. The findings offer insights regarding Airbnb’s global network and expansion:

Listings in Nearly 100,000 Cities

The Airbnb community is global and there are Airbnb listings in more than 99,800 cities around the world and more than 900 cities have more than 1,000 listings. Today, less than 3% of all active listings are in New York City, London and Paris. Five years ago, more than 10% of all active listings were in those three markets. No one city accounts for more than 1% of its listings worldwide.

Airbnb’s Global Network Generates More Places to Stay

To date, there have been more than half a billion guest arrivals at Airbnb listings worldwide and hosts—who keep the majority of what they charge for their listings—have earned more than $65 billion by sharing their homes on Airbnb. Twenty two percent of host respondents said they first enjoyed being an Airbnb guest, then decided to host. In addition, Airbnb hosts and guests have left more than 250 million reviews.

Unique, High-Quality Accommodations and Services

There are more than 14,000 tiny houses listed on Airbnb, more than 4,000 castles and more than 2,400 tree houses. When guest respondents were asked to identify factors that were “important” or “somewhat important” in their decision to use Airbnb:

• 95% selected ease and security of payment. Airbnb securely handles all payments and transactions.
• 86% of guest respondents said the location was more convenient, while 77% said they wanted to live like a local.
• 64% of guest respondents said home sharing is better for the environment. According to Airbnb’s analysis, in the last year alone, there have been 4.5 million guest arrivals at eco-friendly Airbnb listings.

Travelers Trust Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb Experiences immerse travelers in local communities around the world by offering one-of-a-kind activities that are handcrafted and led by local experts. After launching Experiences with 500 in 2016, Airbnb now offers 30,000 of them around the world. In 2018, the number of seats booked on Airbnb Experiences increased nearly 7x, year over year. When guest respondents were asked about the factors that were important or somewhat important in their decision to book an Airbnb Experience:

• 96% said they wanted a more local, authentic experience.
• 94% said they wanted ease and security of payment offered by Airbnb.
• 92% trusted the Airbnb brand to have better quality Experiences.

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