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Airbnb is disrupting the travel and tourism industry. Its platform connects 4 million global hosts with potential guests, helping travelers find lodgings in 100,000 cities around the world. Guests can also book guided experiences through Airbnb, allowing them to partake in authentic activities and learn from local experts.
Last year the pandemic brought travel to a standstill, causing the company's revenue to drop 30%. But that challenging situation also showcased Airbnb's resilience. Rivals like Marriott and Hilton saw revenue drop 50% and 54%, respectively, and both have recovered more slowly.
In Q1 2021 Airbnb returned to growth, reporting a 5% uptick in revenue. However, Marriott and Hilton saw revenue drop 51% and 54%, respectively, as both continued to struggle with weak demand from travelers.
So what's driving that advantage? Airbnb's inventory is more flexible. Adding a new host to the platform is much easier than building a new hotel. Likewise, the variety of lodgings and locations offered through Airbnb creates a unique experience for guests. For example, you could book a fire lookout in the mountains, a private cottage along the coast, or a trendy flat in an urban hotspot. That type of immersive stay is impossible with traditional hotel chains.
Going forward, Airbnb is well positioned to grow its business. The pandemic is far from over, but many consumers are anxious to travel again. In fact, after the company reported first-quarter earnings, CEO Brian Chesky said: "We expect a travel rebound unlike anything we have seen before."
As a final thought, management puts the company's market opportunity at $3.4 trillion. And as new hosts and guests join Airbnb's platform, its disruptive business model should gain momentum over time. That's why this growth stock looks like a smart long-term investment.
2. Teladoc Health
Teladoc is the world's largest and most comprehensive virtual healthcare service. Its cloud-based platform connects patients with medical professionals, enabling a range of virtual visits. This includes non-urgent needs like preventative care, acute illnesses like infections, and chronic conditions like cancer.
Last year, Teladoc became a household name as the pandemic upended the healthcare system. Millions of patients chose to meet with providers online rather than in person, drawn by the speed and convenience of telemedicine. Case in point: The median response time between a request and a visit on Teladoc's platform was less than 10 minutes in 2020. That type of turnaround is impossible with in-person appointments.
Not surprisingly, the pandemic supercharged Teladoc's financial performance. Last year, revenue surged 98% to $1.1 billion, driven by a 156% spike in virtual visits. And that strength carried into 2021, as the company's top-line growth accelerated to 127% through the first half of the year, driven by a 40% increase in visits.
Going forward, Teladoc is well positioned to maintain that momentum. Healthcare is one of the largest industries in the world, and management puts its market opportunity at $250 billion -- more than 100 times the company's trailing-12-month sales.
More importantly, Teladoc has built a trusted brand and established itself as the industry leader. In the coming years, as its portfolio of providers and services continues to expand, more patients should join Teladoc; and as Teladoc adds more members, the company should generate more revenue, furthering its ability to invest in new services.
That virtuous cycle should be a powerful growth driver, helping Teladoc capitalize on its massive market opportunity. That's why you should consider adding this tech stock to your portfolio.