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Airbnb CEO says a future of flexible work and travel will give company a boost

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Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky told CNBC on Friday that a post-Covid pandemic future of flexible living and working arrangements will be a boon to the company.

Chesky, who is on a nationwide tour of Airbnb stays in an effort to “improve the experience” for customers, said he expects sustained adoption of remote work will create a new segment of working travelers.

“They can do what I can do — I’m running a pretty large company off of a laptop with another person’s WiFi in their home,” Chesky said on “TechCheck.” “If I can do my job from a house in Atlanta, that means a lot of people could travel all over the world and live, not just travel.”

Chesky said Airbnb’s plan to capture this new segment is to generate experiences that make customers feel as though they are living in a community rather than traveling to a temporary destination. Chesky did not offer specifics on how the home-rental company will go about accomplishing that, but he said improvements to its services will arrive in time for an expected travel surge this summer.

The chief executive also said he anticipates that bookings will skyrocket once international travel restrictions loosen.

“There is a huge boom that’s going to be coming to Airbnb,” Chesky said. “Before the pandemic, half our business was cross-border. As borders do reopen, that will be another tailwind for us.”

Airbnb shares are negative on the year, having lost nearly 6% so far in 2022. However, the stock has held up better than other growth-oriented companies and the overall tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which is down about 12% year to date.

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