Airbnb bookings in coronavirus hotspot cities have collapsed by as much as 96% since January

Airbnb bookings in coronavirus hotspot cities have collapsed by as much as 96% since January
rome italy coronavirus

REUTERS/Remo Casilli


People wearing protective masks walk past the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, February 25, 2020. Expert advice is that masks are generally ineffective from curbing the spread of the virus.

  • Data from an Airbnb rental analytics site shows huge drops in city bookings due to the coronavirus.
  • Beijing has seen a 96% drop since January this year, while Seoul and Rome have taken hits of 46% and 41%.
  • Airbnb was poised to go public this year, but the impact of the coronavirus has reportedly delayed its plans.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

With coronavirus looming over the tourist industry, Airbnb has taken a hit.

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Data from vacation rental site AirDNA shows that while the amount of Airbnb listings on offer has remained relatively steady, demand has taken a hit.

The drop is most pronounced in virus hotspot cities. From January to March 2020, Beijing went from 40,500 bookings to just 1,600 - a 96% drop. Seoul and Rome saw drops of 46% and 41% respectively.


AirDNA's data was measured before Italy implemented its nationwide lockdown, and therefore before President Trump's travel ban stopped foreign nationals from 26 European countries from entering the US.

Cancellations of big events have also hit Airbnb rentals. AirDNA analyzed the cancellation of South By Southwest, which last year raked in $16.1 million in rentals. This year Austin property renters are projected to earn just $9.8 million over the same 10-day period.

AirDNA noted that while the outlook is bleak for cities, more remote listings have been less damaged by the outbreak so far. "It's important to note that the impacts are highly localized - that is, the markets affected are largely limited to where the virus actually is. This may seem obvious, but it's important to recognize that the vast majority of vacation rental markets are not in all-out panic mode," the report concludes.

The virus has struck Airbnb at a particularly sensitive time, as the company was planning to launch its public offering this year, beginning the process in March or April. Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the IPO may now be delayed.

Airbnb was not immediately available to comment on AirDNA's data, but in a statement to the Wall Street Journal a spokesperson said coronavirus "is causing travel restrictions and other disruptions that have a direct impact on the travel and tourism sector and beyond.


"Although nobody can know the extent of the impact that the Coronavirus outbreak may have, we believe that history shows that when global disruptions happen, the travel industry has bounced back in the long run."

Axel Springer, Insider Inc.'s parent company, is an investor in Airbnb.

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