The Head of Policy at Airbnb, Chris Lehane, says that they are seeing the same underlying dynamics and trends of millennials driving Airbnb growth in China that they saw earlier globally. With 400 million millennials living in China, the growth potential for Airbnb is massive. He noted that millennials will be 75 percent of consumers going forward and home sharing is how they like to travel.
Chris Lehane, Head of Global Policy And Communications for Airbnb, talked about the huge growth of the company and their massive potential for even more growth driven by millennials in China and around the world in an interview on Bloomberg:
Airbnb’s Single Biggest Quarter Ever
As we released on Friday, we are significantly over a billion dollars in revenue in Q3, our single biggest quarter ever. We are blessed ultimately by this really significant and robust growth. Ultimately that’s tracking to the community model that exists on Airbnb. We only do well if our hosts do well, hosts do well if our guests do well, guests do well only if communities are benefitting. That flywheel does create a network effect globally. You can see that underneath these growth numbers, 91 percent growth in Bejing. Over 79 percent growth in places like Mexico City or even Birmingham, England.
Home Sharing is How Millennials Like to Travel
Ultimately what’s really underlying the foundation for all of that is that people are looking for this type of travel. More people are going to be able to do home sharing type of travel, people to people travel tomorrow than today. This is not new, Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, they did home sharing, but in particular, this is what consumers are looking for, particularly millennial consumers who are going to be 75 percent plus of all consumers going forward. This is how they like to travel.
400 Million Millennials in China – A Huge Opportunity for Airbnb
Looking at our global numbers, what we are seeing in China really does reflect the same thing that we are seeing globally. We are blessed with this growth which is being driven by that network effect that exists locally. What we are seeing in China is really interesting. It has the same underlying dynamics and trends that we saw with the business earlier.
When Airbnb was first launched the majority of users were millennials. If you look at our China market right now about 85 percent of our consumers are millennials. It’s a similar trend, but keeping in mind that there are 400 million millennials in China. We are really the significant player in what’s called the outbound travel, people going from China abroad. What’s happening is they come back and then they begin to travel domestically and Airbnb begins to grow as a result of that.
China is a place you have to get up every day and work incredibly hard. We do have a president of the business who is from China based on the ground there. We have an incredible team made up of Chinese folks who are on the ground there in Bejing and other offices around the country. I feel good about where we are but I know that we need to keep working at it.