Airbnb is pausing marketing and most hiring efforts as the company continues to face the financial effects of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.
That’s according to a report from The Information.
The outlet says the move was announced on a Thursday conference call involving Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, citing “a person familiar with the matter.” That source noted that layoffs were also an option. The company has more than 7,000 employees worldwide.
The elimination of the marketing budget would save approximately $800 million, according to The Information. Hiring would only continue for “key roles.”
On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he was suspending vacation rentals in the state for two weeks in an effort to cut down on out-of-state visitors. Those already occupying a unit would be allowed to stay, according to the Governor.
Despite President Donald Trump’s repeated assertions that anyone who wants a test can have one, states and hospitals and testing sites still do not have a sufficient number of supplies weeks into the outbreak.
Without an accurate count of who has the virus — and without vaccine or reliable way to treat those symptoms — health officials have urged Americans to cut down on social interactions until the virus’s spread is under control.
Those social distancing efforts have led to a huge impact on the travel industry. Airbnb’s executives have already announced they would forego a salary. But Chesky reportedly expressed confidence the company would rebound to its 2019 booking levels by 2021.
“This may change some habits. This may change business travel. This may change a little bit how people work,” Chesky said, according to The Information.
“But this isn’t going to change human nature. Human nature has existed long before Zoom and long before the coronavirus.”
Other companies have also felt the economic impact of the virus. Friday, reports emerged that SeaWorld will furlough 90% of its workforce without pay starting April 1.