Skift Take

The short-term rental sector is growing, but property managers have been having a hard time as supply has outpaced demand.

Travel companies laid off more than 6,600 employees in 2023. The total comes from more than 20 travel companies that disclosed layoffs for various reasons.

Vacasa, a vacation-rental property manager, is the travel company that reported the largest single layoff in terms of total numbers: 1,300 employees. Five other property-management companies made similar moves.

Below is a roundup of travel layoffs in order by the month they were reported.

Some companies disclosed the number of employees cut. For those that shared the percentage only, Skift made an estimate based on the company’s total number of employees. In a couple of cases, details came from inside sources only. 

Vacasa, a vacation-rental property manager, in January eliminated 1,300 positions, about 17% of its workforce. The company had laid off 280 employees the previous October. Vacasa completed the move in an effort to reduce costs and continue focus on becoming profitable, according to an email to employees from CEO Rob Greyber.

Skift reported that firings at Google Flights, which had 100 or more employees on its engineering team alone, reached 10%-12% in January. It was part of Google’s largest-ever layoff of about 12,000 employees, or around 6% of its full-time workforce.

Inspirato, which offers a luxury vacation home and hotel subscription service, made two layoffs in 2023. The January cut was 12% of its staff, roughly 100 people. In July, the company laid off around 50 staffers, or some 6% of its workforce.

Glisser, an event tech platform, said in early 2023 that it would be laying off its staff of 25 because it went out of business and the technology was acquired, but the team was not offered positions at the new company.

American Airlines in February began sharing internally that it would be cutting some sales staff, including three senior leaders, Skift reported.  

Property manager Sonder in March laid off 14 percent of its corporate workforce, about 100 workers. The move was expected to lead to an annual savings of about $10 million.

Airbnb in March laid off 30% of its recruiting staff, about 27 jobs, although it planned to increase its overall workforce. 

Lyft in April said it would “significantly reduce the size of the team as part of a restructuring.” The number of people impacted was at least 1,200, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Heygo, the startup virtual experiences platform, laid off its 20 employees and closed the business in April.

Sabre in May said it would be cutting 15 percent of its workforce, equating to about 1,100 jobs. The company said the cuts would lead to a savings of $200 million annually. 

Evolve, a vacation rental property manager, in May said it would be laying off 164 employees, about 14% of its staff. The reason outlined in a memo to staff was that “marketwide supply growth has considerably outpaced demand growth.” Evolve also laid off 20% of its staff in September, totaling about 175 employees.

Uber said in June that it would be cutting 200 jobs, less than 1% of its company, in its recruitment division.

Property manager AvantStay said in June that it had laid off fewer than 10% of its staff, or 37 employees, in its third round of job cuts over the previous past 12 months.

Selina, a hotel and experiences brand focused on youth travelers, said in July that it would lay off 350 people, or about 15% of its workforce, and that it closed five properties in Mexico, the U.S., Greece, Austria, and Costa Rica.

Expedia carried out an undisclosed number of layoffs in July and September, and made a couple of executive changes. Skift reported that the teams affected included product and tech, human resources, user research, design, and content. And Expedia in October laid off around 100 employees in a round of cuts that impacted its product and tech organization.

VTrips, a vacation rental property management company, in late September laid off around 75 employees, more than 9% of its full-time workforce in an effort to reduce costs. 

Hopper, the online travel and fintech company, cut 30% of its full-time staff — around 250 employees — in a bid to become profitable, Skift reported in October.

Hubilo, an event tech platform, laid off at least 50 staffers, Skift reported in October. 

Kayak and OpenTable, two Booking Holdings brands, in October laid off 80 employees. It accounted for less than 5% of the two brands’ travel and shared services teams.

Tripadvisor laid off around 125 employees, or 4% of its workforce, in the third quarter of 2023, Skift reported in November.

Sojern, the digital marketing platform for travel companies, in December laid off about 20% of its staff. Sojern said the undisclosed number of affected staff were primarily associated with legacy offerings, as the company focuses investment on newer technologies. 

Navan, a travel and expense management startup, in December laid off 5% of employees across departments, accounting for about 145 people. Navan said the move was in an effort to reach its goal of profitability.

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Tags: evolve, expedia, google, google flights, inspirato, kayak, layoffs, lyft, navan, opentable, sabre, selina, sojern, sonder, uber, vacasa, vtrips

Photo credit: Pictured: a vacation rental in Orange Beach, Alabama, managed by Vacasa. Vacasa

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