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Airbnb CEO: Travel may never be the same (axios.com)
16 points by awb 3 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments





I just don't see a lot of reasoning for these claims. The reduction in business and travel, absolutely, but people suddenly having more diverse travel interests and desire to go to national parks because of the pandemic? I just don't know where that comes from. If anything, I would think that there'll be more pent up desire for people to go see all the big cities they can't visit right now.

A lot of the premise of the big city trips is that you have money but no time, so you plan an expensive "weekend getaway" that crams in more experiences, which necessarily means going to a city like Tokyo or Paris or a luxury resort hotel in Hawaii or Dubai. In the coming years it's far more likely to be the opposite: Time but no money means you go on a backpacking or camping trip, or if you want more man-made thrills, the nearby amusement park or zoo, local concerts and theaters. But there's a broader shift in store, and I think that's the real point being made.

Overtourism of big destinations is not likely to end altogether, but the validity of their worth is premised on broader cultural narratives about what to venerate, what to be seen upholding, and that's bound to change as society does. In the past tourism served a purpose of exporting ideas about how to live: ideas about food, fashion, lifestyle could only truly be experienced by being there. Unusual merchandise could only be found where there was a center of trade. But as we live online more, exchange more of our goods by mail, a global city is, in effect, always with us, independent of the built infrastructure. And we hit a forcing function for moving in that direction by shutting down so much of the physical economy.


The bet here is that a lot of people will go on their first "small town 100 miles away" trip this year, and discover it was more fun than they were expecting. I'm still skeptical, but I'm a lot less skeptical than of the takes like "all workers will be remote forever".

More open spaces and places where social distancing is possible. Those Paris and Rome trips will probably not happen for the time being but maybe more people decide to drive (if feasible) to their local national park.

That's fair - I definitely buy that during the pandemic people will go to open places that they can drive to, but his comments felt more like they were addressing the post-pandemic world.

Consider the income instability these days with many types of jobs.

A park is on the affordable side compared to overseas travel, or plane travel in general, for many households.


I can see his point about national parks, a ton of people are out on the bay area hiking trails nowadays, just eyeballing it I would say 50% increase easy

I hope Airbnb will never be the same...

There are already stories out there of people renting flats to use in Airbnb only.

While you have and had strict regulations on hotels and renting flats out, Airbnb just ignored it. What happened? Cheap rooms for Tourists, pushing rent prices higher, and putting a dent on hotels who have to have high standards and high investments.


International travel may never be the same, particularly if there is never an effective vaccine. It looks like the globe is breaking down in to areas where Covid-19 is effectively suppressed and other areas where it is not and herd immunity will be the eventual answer. Travel between the areas will require quarantine in at least one direction, limiting ad hoc travel and tourism.

International tourism and cruising may also lose their impact for social signalling. Both are at least partly motivated by the desire to come back and tell all your friends about where you were and what a wonderful time you had. The actual experience of having your pocket picked or being in a norovirus outbreak may not be all that great.


Can you imagine a flight of 300 - 400 people arriving, and a sudden detention and 2-week quarantine for them?

If you think the cruise ship stories were bad, those travellers at least had rooms and kitchens.

Airports don't have that.




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