Briefs: Airbnb’s Chesky speaks | Mumbai headwinds

Airbnb will need millions more hosts: Airbnb will have to add millions of new hosts to accommodate guests as travel picks up again following the coronavirus pandemic, CEO Brian Chesky told CNBC. “I think that we probably will have a high-class problem where there will probably be more guests coming to Airbnb than we’ll have hosts for, because … we think there’s going to be a travel rebound coming that’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” Chesky said. The home-sharing platform now has 4 million hosts. The travel industry is seeing an uptick in business as more Americans get vaccinated and state restrictions ease. But for Airbnb, which relies on people to open their homes to guests, it will need to ramp up its number of hosts instead of building out more real estate to meet demand.

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Mumbai faces headwinds: Mumbai’s rapid hotel performance recovery is projected to return to more moderate levels, according to a recent market forecast from STR and Tourism Economics. Driven by domestic business travel and quarantine guests, Mumbai recaptured 65% of demand in February 2021 when compared with pre-pandemic levels. More importantly, group demand, which continues to lag in most markets worldwide, surpassed 70% of pre-pandemic levels during the month. Preliminary data for March showed a slowing in Mumbai’s demand amid rising COVID-19 case counts and subsequent tightened restrictions.

Data showed that international arrivals contributed to only 23% of nights spent in Mumbai, even before the pandemic. The market’s strong reliance on domestic guests helped drive demand more than halfway to its pre-pandemic highs prior to the new surge in cases.

New California regulation may slow hotel workers’ return: The California Hotel & Lodging Association issued this statement about the passage of California Senate Bill 93, which mandates hotels and others offer employees laid-off due to COVID-19 get their jobs back before hiring others. “California hotels have lost thousands of employees permanently during the pandemic,” said Lynn Mohrfeld, president and CEO of the CHLA. “We need all our returning and new employees ASAP to meet the reopening demand at our hotels. Unfortunately, restrictive hiring regulations only slow down our employees from resuming the careers they love.”

May Day expectations in China: As the upcoming May Day holiday in mainland China approaches, new data indicates that up to 200 million tourists will be on the move over the five-day break. According to data from Group platform, Ctrip, as of April 14, bookings for the May Day holiday have seen significant increases across many business areas in comparison with the same period in 2019. According to the forecast data, the current volume of hotel bookings has achieved a 43% increase compared to the same period in 2019. High-end hotel bookings accounted for more than 50% of total bookings over the May Day holiday.