AirBnB has reported a surge in local bookings in the US and around the world since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the CEO, the number of nights booked locally between May 17 and June 3 was greater than the number during the same period last year. More countries are seeing a surge in domestic holidays including Germany, Portugal, South Korea and New Zealand.
News of local tourism is welcome for the tourism industry which has been greatly affected by the travel restrictions worldwide.
In Kenya, the international flights are yet to resume and the tourism and hospitality sector have been the most affected by the Corona Virus pandemic. Businesses in the hospitality sector, which have started opening have also shifted their sight closer home, trying to attract the local tourist. Hotels and Lodges in Mombasa, one of Kenya’s busiest tourism spot, have been closed for the better part of the year resulting in job losses and loss of revenue.
At the beginning of May, AirBnB laid off up to 25 percent of its staff as business slowed down. Since the outbreak of the Pandemic, more people are making closer AirBnB bookings and adjusting their holidays from airplane to car.
More people have also changed their vacation preferences. International trips abroad including to African countries have been replaced with longer in-country stays in vacation homes such as AirBnB. More people prefer to stay in a holiday home than in a hotel, as they can easily keep social distance.
Countries around the world have started relaxing their lockdown restrictions including the curfew time in Kenya being extended to 9 pm. A corona virus vaccine is not expected until about mid next year, meaning that most of the precautions set to contain the disease could be with us long term.