Airbnb, which transformed the hospitality industry by turning spare residences and bedrooms into rentals for travelers, is emerging from its most brutal year ever—in which bookings plummeted, resulting in a series of painful staff cuts—well positioned to leverage the changed travel landscape. As employers get more comfortable with remote workers, the San Francisco–based company believes that people are more able to “live anywhere”; as concerns linger about interacting with staff and guests at hotels, its platform offers millions of private alternatives. While revenues have fallen, the market remains bullish on Airbnb’s prospects. Late last year, well into the pandemic, the company went public under the leadership of CEO Brian Chesky, shooting to a valuation of $100 billion, the year’s biggest debut.
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