The twenty-first century has had its fair share of disrupters in traditional market places. Electric cars, remote working, and social influences have all impacted classic 20th-century fields like the automotive industry, the business industry, and the entertainment industry. Few traditional businesses were prepared to contend with consumers being able to access the internet in their pocket. Of course, this is no different in the hospitality market. While hotels and booking agencies dominated the past, apps dominate the future. No Application has had a more considerable impact on their market than Air BnB.
Airbnb was created around a straightforward concept: if you aren’t going to be home or have an extra room in your house to rent, why not rent it out? There are plenty of people who are looking to find cheap alternatives for travel. Whether it’s finding a swanky spot in L.A. or a place to crash on your road trip through North Dakota, Air BnB consistently provides quality options for people to rest when they’re on the road. They often provide the comfort of living in what feels like a cared for home, which is always a bonus. And the sometimes hostel-like atmosphere some locations have can be great for getting to know strangers on the road if your solo traveling. While not perfect far more often than not, Air BnB provides a great place to stay at a cheap rate when you’re on the road, and you get to feel like your supporting an individual as well as a corporation.
Perhaps one of the most hyped tech IPO’s in a while, Airbnb just went public, and it is already a dominant force. Many were skeptical of going public amid the pandemic, but clearly, they have not noticed a significant trend in the pandemic. With an increased ability to work from home, many individuals took the opportunity to work while traveling, exploring new locations for month stretches on end and making the comfort, isolation, and safety provided by an Air BnB experience invaluable. Still, most are shocked by the tremendous outpouring of interest in the companies stock. To put it in perspective, Expedia, Air BnB’s most significant competitor, has a market cap of around $18 billion: Air Bnb’s is $86.5 billion. Airbnb’s ability to weather a stormy market during a period when less money is spent on travel and recreation than ever before is an excellent marker of the profound impact this company has had on the way people perceive travel.