Skift Take

As a public company, Airbnb would be a dream for reporters, analysts, and investors because of the required disclosures about financials and strategy. It could also prompt competitors to up their game, and perhaps be more forthcoming about the numbers behind their own short-term rental businesses.

Series: Dennis' Online Travel Briefing

Dennis' Online Travel Briefing

Editor’s Note:¬†Every Wednesday, Executive Editor and online travel rockstar Dennis Schaal will bring readers exclusive reporting and insight into the business of online travel and digital booking, and how this sector has an impact across the travel industry.

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If market conditions line up and Airbnb indeed goes public, I'm certainly not alone in salivating about the prospects. No, I'm not talking about from an investor standpoint. I'm skeptical about chatter predicting that Airbnb is set for a blockbuster IPO when none of the financials or pricing have yet to be officially revealed. After all, a blockbuster debut, even if it were to happen, could head south in a Nasdaq minute. But Airbnb trading on the stock exchange would usher in a new era not only for the dozen-year-old lodging company, but also for the online travel industry as a whole. For example, when I reported a year ago that Airbnb Beat Expedia in Booked Room Nights, and that the transition was unpublicized but still a watershed event, the only reason we knew about the milestone was because the Wall Street Journal had obtained privately held Airbnb's first quarter of 2019 financial results. Assuming Airbnb indeed obtains its stock symbol, starts releasing quarterly results, and conducts earnings calls with analysts, Airbnb will have to disclose metrics such as gross bookings, revenue, and profits or losses on a GAAP basis. I especially look forward to Airbnb ha