Skift Take

Airbnb seemed to be disciplined about its marketing spend during the first quarter, and didn't return to the bad old days of 2019 in terms of freewheeling spending. The true test will be this summer when rivals crank up their performance marketing campaigns.

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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Online Travel This Week Will newly public company Airbnb be able to maintain a marketing advantage over Booking and Expedia/Vrbo because of the strength of the Airbnb brand? So far, so good. With three of the big online travel and short-term rental brands having completed their first quarter financial reporting, it's clear that in these early days of a travel recovery in parts of the world, Airbnb indeed kept control of its marketing spend, and presumably reduced its footprint in Google performance marketing, which was a key goal. During the first three months of 2021, Airbnb's sales and marketing spend was $229.1 million, or 25.8 percent of revenue, a decline of 11.8 percentage points compared with the first quarter of 2020.

Join Us at the Skift Short-Term Rental and Outdoor Summit on May 19

Public relations is an important part of Airbnb's marketing efforts, acc