Airbnb laying off 1,900 employees due to travel decline

CEO Brian Chesky said travel will eventually return, but people will want options that are closer to home and more affordable.

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The logo of the online lodging service Airbnb displayed on a tablet.

Online lodging service Airbnb is laying off employees and scaling back its investments in luxury properties.

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Airbnb is laying off 25% of its workforce as it confronts a steep decline in global travel due to the new coronavirus.

In a letter to employees, CEO Brian Chesky said the company is letting 1,900 of its 7,500 workers go and cutting businesses that don’t directly support home-sharing, like its investments in hotels and movie production.

“We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime,” Chesky wrote. He said Airbnb expects its revenue to drop by more than half this year.

Chesky said departing employees will receive at least 14 weeks of their base pay. U.S. employees will continue to receive health care coverage for a year; in other countries, employees will keep their health coverage through the end of this year.

Chesky said travel will eventually return, but will look different. Airbnb expects travelers will want options that are closer to home and more affordable, for example. The company is scaling back its investments in luxury properties as a result.

Airbnb also recently announced a new cleaning protocol that it’s asking hosts to adhere to in order to make travelers feel more secure.

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