Airbnb and hotel industry show signs of strong recovery

NOTE: Bloomberg Second Measure launched a new and exclusive transaction dataset in July 2022. Our data continues to be broadly representative of U.S. consumers. As a result of this panel change, however, we recommend using only the latest posts in assessing metrics, and do not support referring to historical blog posts to infer period-over-period comparisons.

Transaction data reveals that travel-related sectors are recovering. As such, hotel sales spiked in April 2021 as increasing vaccination rates and warmer weather have more U.S. consumers planning vacations. The travel accommodations industry is reaping the benefits of the growing demand for travel, with Airbnb leading the pack.

Airbnb vs hotel sales

The hotel industry saw sales fall 77 percent year-over-year in April 2020, while Airbnb saw year-over-year sales decline 61 percent that same month. The company’s sales have since rebounded at a faster pace. By April 2021, Airbnb’s sales were 69 percent higher than what they were two years ago, while hotel industry sales were roughly the same as they were in April 2019.

Airbnb recovery outperforming traditional hotel chains

Although sales plummeted for both Airbnb and traditional hotel chains at the beginning of the pandemic, Airbnb has still fared better than these major hotel groups since March 2020. The company was a popular option for travelers amidst the pandemic, and was also able to mitigate the initial fallout of COVID-related travel restrictions through its Virtual Experiences feature. 

Airbnb sales vs hotel sales

As of April 2021, Airbnb’s sales were 182 percent higher than January 2019 sales, while sales volumes for the majority of traditional hotel companies were down an average of six percent compared to January 2019. A closer look at four of the largest hotel chains in our data set showed sales volumes at three out of four of these hotel chains still trailing that of January 2019 sales, with InterContinental Hotels Group as the sole outlier. The company’s sales in April 2021 surpassed January 2019 by 8 percent.

Casino hotel recovery varies drastically

Some casino hotels are faring better than Airbnb. However, performance varies significantly within this category.

Airbnb vs casino hotel sales

Of the five casino hotel groups with the highest observed sales for 2019 within our dataset, two companies have sustained strong sales growth after the initial pandemic-driven sales slump of 2020: Caesars Entertainment, Inc. and Boyd Gaming. The former underwent a seemingly successful merger between Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment Corporation in July 2020, likely contributing to the group’s rising sales in late 2020. Caesars Entertainment, Inc’s average monthly year-over-year growth for 2021 stood at 272 percent in April 2021, while Boyd Gaming’s stood at 3057 percent. Even prior to the merger, Caesars Entertainment in particular was least impacted by the pandemic. Between March and June of 2020, the company’s monthly year-over-year sales fell an average of 34 percent, while its casino competitors fell an average of 69 percent.

*Note: Bloomberg Second Measure regularly refreshes its panel and methods in order to provide the highest quality data that is broadly representative of U.S. consumers. As a result, we may restate historical data, including our blog content.

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