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Should You Buy Airbnb Right Before the Summer?

By Neil Rozenbaum - Jun 28, 2021 at 11:00AM

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Travel is making the comeback of the century.

In this video, I will be talking about Airbnb's (ABNB 1.23%) recent updates as well as some key numbers from recent travel activities that might show how well Airbnb will perform in the second part of the year. Travel is certainly bouncing back, and that might be very positive for Airbnb stock.

Travel is back

Since Airbnb's Q1 report, travel has continued to show signs of picking up. Vaccines are getting rolled out around the world, and people are starting to go on their summer vacations. Especially in Europe, since the European Union eased travel restrictions, Airbnb searches are increasing. During the week of May 18 to May 24, European searches grew 31% compared to 2019. In fact, for new listings that were activated and booked in Q1 2021, 50 percent received a reservation request within four days of activation. 

People are also staying longer. The top three destinations for long-term stays on Airbnb are all cities. In New York, 62 percent of summer nights booked in the city are for long-term stays, and in Seattle and Los Angeles, long-term stays are at 40 and 43 percent, respectively. In Q1, stays of more than 28 days increased 14%. Nights booked at rural stays increased from 32% in the summer of 2019 to 42% for summer 2021.

Airbnb in 2021

The pandemic has changed the way we travel forever, and that's why Airbnb released more than 100 upgrades to refine and improve every aspect of the Airbnb service. Airbnb's CEO said, "People can travel anytime, they are traveling to more places and they are staying longer." And so the new features the company has released are meant to help you travel better. Flexibility is one of the key features it has added. Flexible dates, flexible matching, and flexible destination. 

It has also made it easier to host and to manage your listing. Over 90% of hosts are individuals and not professionals. By making it easier for hosts to manage their listings, Airbnb is making sure every host can turn into a personal "hotel manager." 

High fees

One of the big criticisms about Airbnb is the high fees. Especially cleaning fees. As a host, you can set the amount you think it will cost to clean your location. But sometimes hosts set very high cleaning fees. If you are looking to stay one night and would have to pay $150 in cleaning fees, you'll most likely switch to a hotel instead. 

This is something Airbnb still needs to address. With its recent increase in popularity, expect some negative stories to come out regarding hidden fees and cleaning fees. 

I'm long Airbnb, but that does not mean that other travel stocks such as Booking (ABNB 1.23%) and Expedia (EXPE -0.30%) won't fare well. On the contrary, the travel industry is a trillion-dollar one, and there are going to be plenty of winners. 

Do watch the video below for the full insights.

*Stock prices used were the closing prices of June 25, 2021. The video was published on June 27, 2021.

Neil Rozenbaum owns shares of Airbnb, Inc. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Airbnb, Inc. and Booking Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policyNeil is an affiliate of The Motley Fool and may be compensated for promoting its services. If you choose to subscribe through his link, he will earn some extra money that supports his channel. His opinions remain his own and are unaffected by The Motley Fool.

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Stocks Mentioned

Airbnb, Inc. Stock Quote
Airbnb, Inc.
$126.04 (1.23%) $1.53
Booking Holdings Stock Quote
Booking Holdings
$2,129.76 (0.41%) $8.78
Expedia, Inc. Stock Quote
Expedia, Inc.
$113.17 (-0.30%) $0.34

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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