After being cooped up at home throughout the covid pandemic, the desire to travel has never been stronger. People are itching to get out and explore the world once again.

For Airbnb, while the pandemic saw bookings for nights and experiences plunge over 70% year-over-year, the company has been able to pull off a dramatic recovery as it rapidly responded to the crisis with significant restructuring and strategic actions. From layoffs and hiring freezes to flexible booking policies and enhanced cleaning protocols, Airbnb wasted little time in taking necessary steps to ensure it had the best chance of emerging as a stronger company and regaining the confidence of travelers around the world.

In addition, when the pandemic hit, the company chose to focus on its most unique feature. It returned to its roots and the everyday people who host their homes and offer experiences, scaling back investments that did not directly support its core business of hosting. This decision has proved critical with people increasingly seeking local stays as the pandemic persisted, providing and distinct advantage that was ultimately a core driver in the company’s recovery.

Today, Airbnb continues as one of the largest travel companies in the world, with over six million listings in over 220 countries. Despite facing challenges from the pandemic, which had catastrophic impacts on competitors within the travel sector, Airbnb has continued to innovate and grow, expanding into new markets and introducing new products and services to continue its growth trajectory.