According to the CEO of online platform Airbnb, Brian Chesky, “the pandemic has forever changed the way we travel”. That’s because the global health crisis, and the government responses to it, have effectively erased the lines that used to separate leisure and business travel.
He argues that “We’re experiencing a real revolution today in terms of how we travel. We used to live in one place, which was our home, move to another place, which was our work, and travel to a third-place for leisure. Now all these places are converging.” And the American manager explained that “we now have to accept that employers are not going to force all employees to return to the office to work five days a week. We will have to accept that everything is changed forever.”
The pandemic had a significant impact on the short-term rental platform Airbnb (founded in 2007). However, it has recovered strongly this summer. Zoom and other technologies that enable remote working have given rise to a new type of worker: those who relocate away from the city or country where their home and office are located in order to work remotely not for a few days or a week, but for “a month or the entire summer,” effectively becoming working nomads.
The need for closer interpersonal relationships is a second major change brought about by the pandemic Chesky reports. Companies booking Airbnb for three-day retreats in the United States increased by 70% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. The short-term rental company also discovered a significant increase in bookings for larger properties capable of accommodating families over the course of the year. Because many more people are travelling as families.