Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at Airbnb’s record quarter, Colorado’s tourism redirect, and Air Asia X’s leadership change.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, November 2. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Sustained high rates for short-term rentals and vacation homes propelled Airbnb to notch record revenues and profits in the third quarter that it reported on Tuesday. The lodging booking agency continued to cash in on consumers’ pent-up demand for travel as the pandemic receded, writes Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
Airbnb’s net income rose 46 percent year-over-year to $1.2 billion, its highest-ever quarter, for the period that ended September 30.
The San Francisco-based company generated third-quarter revenue of $2.9 billion, which was likewise a company record. The revenue mark was up 29 percent compared to a year ago
Airbnb had 90 million guest arrivals, another record. They generated 99.7 million “nights and experiences” booked, a figure that climbed 25 percent year-over-year.
CEO Brian Chesky said he sees no pullback on longer-term stays that helped propel Airbnb during the pandemic. He elaborated by saying “we’ve seen many companies require their employees to return to the office. And at the same time, long-term stays remain 20 percent of our total gross nights booked on Airbnb.”
Next, residents in multiple Colorado counties will be voting in local ballot measures on November 8 on whether to redirect their tourism promotion dollars toward community issues. Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam writes that the ballot measures illustrate how communities are asserting themselves in how tourism benefits them.
Many of the ballot measures are in Colorado’s mountain counties, which continue to experience infrastructure stress from unprecedented visitation that started during the pandemic. Habtemariam discusses how the pressures have contributed to an affordable housing crisis, which has caused a staff shortage for the tourism industry.
The ballot measures may be a sign where destination marketing in Colorado is heading. Colorado Association of Destination Management Organization Chair Bruce Dalton said DMOs in the state need to be ready to defend their tourism marketing dollars in the coming years.
Finally, Tony Fernandes stepped down this week as the acting group CEO of AirAsia X, a long-haul budget carrier of Capital A. He had been CEO since July this year and cited other commitments as the reason for resigning, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia. Mahmood Fawzy was appointed as the independent non-executive director of Thai AirAsia X.
During the pandemic, AirAsia X underwent debt restructuring and completed the process in March. The airline plans to increase its flight frequency and provide daily services to most destinations before the end of the year.
AirAsia founder and a legendary figure in aviation, Fernandes said his job had been to restore profitability and growth to AirAsia X. He said his job was “accomplished” and pointed to AirAsia X’s plan to acquire 20 new aircraft as proof.