Expansion and Innovation for Airbnb
Brian Chesky, founder and CEO of Airbnb, has been outspoken about the company’s plans to disrupt the previously static hospitality industry. In its progressive stances, willingness to experiment, and rapid expansion, Airbnb is already well on its way to sharing economy domination.
In an interview with Fortune, Chesky sat down to talk over some of these plans, and what he sees as next steps for the company. According to Chesky, part of the disruptive force propelling Airbnb forward comes from the fact that the company is not actually competing much with traditional hotels, contrary to popular opinion. Chesky highlights that Airbnb serves a dramatically different demographic from traditional hotels, as most of its customers would not have taken their trips had Airbnb not been an option.
Chesky emphasizes that Airbnb is not attempting to simply act as a substitute for hotels; rather, the company aims to upend the static hospitality industry to rethink the way we travel. In this quest, Airbnb is already making rapid progress. Through its Airbnb for Business Program, it seeks to grow its business travel segment, an area in which it can grow exponentially, as 70% of all hotel stays in the U.S. are currently booked by business travelers.
The company also recently announced a plan to grow its business in China under a new name and brand, in hopes of succeeding where countless other Western tech firms, including fellow gig economy giant Uber, have failed.
In conjunction with other new additions the company is refining—including its acquisition of vacation rentals manager Luxury Retreat, new features such as “Trips” and “Experiences” enabling users to fuse travel with activities—these initiatives are elements of Airbnb’s overarching goal to become a “one-stop- shop” for travel across the globe.
“So we have this basic “the world is a village” type idea where all these new micro-entrepreneurs can be started,” Chesky concluded. “And that’s kind of a vision of our economy.”