Airbnb Rejects Viral Tweet Claiming Major Revenue Decline

Airbnb Inc., the global home-sharing titan, has recently refuted claims propagated by a viral tweet, which suggested that its rental revenues have drastically dipped by almost 50% in some US cities. The alleged statistics, shared by Nick Gerli in the contentious tweet, were reportedly extracted from AllTheRooms, an analytics platform for short-term rentals.

Data Discrepancy Raises Doubts

Sam Randall, an Airbnb spokesperson, contested the veracity of the aforementioned data, stating, “The data is not consistent with our own.” Randall’s statement aligns with Airbnb’s Q1 2023 earnings report, which shows a 19% increase in nights and experiences booked compared to the same period in the previous year.

The Infamous Tweet and Its Impact

The tweet by Nick Gerli, a consultant advising real estate investors and home buyers, pointed to Sevierville (Tennessee), Phoenix, and Austin as the US cities hit hardest by falling RevPAL (Revenue per Available Listing), with reductions as steep as 48% in May compared to the previous year’s three-month average. Gerli attributed this slump to a dip in demand coupled with a rise in supply.

An Alternate Perspective from AirDNA

However, another data provider, AirDNA, countered these claims with a more modest portrayal. According to Jamie Lane, the Chief Economist at AirDNA, the same markets showed a single-digit decline.

The Pandemic-Induced Boom and Shifts in the Market

Airbnb has greatly benefited from pandemic-induced changes in work and lifestyle patterns. The platform witnessed a surge in long-term stays in rural towns or popular outdoor tourist destinations, leading to accelerated growth in total active listings. Despite this, the gradual return to office-based work has seen some pandemic boomtowns experience a decline in housing prices.


Airbnb’s Forecast amid Controversies

Despite the revenue decrease claims, both Airbnb and Lane predict a positive trajectory. The home-sharing giant expects the growth rate in nights and experiences booked to slow down in Q2 due to a surge in demand after the Covid-19 Omicron variant outbreak last year.

Despite the viral tweet triggering considerable debate about Airbnb’s performance, the platform, as well as industry experts, contest the tweet’s accuracy. With the consensus being that despite potential challenges and market adjustments, the future appears bright for Airbnb.

Interesting Fact

Interesting to note, Airbnb was born in 2008 when two designers who had space to share hosted three travellers in need. Since then, the platform has grown massively, with millions of hosts and travellers choosing to create free Airbnb accounts, listing their spaces, and booking unique accommodations globally.