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Airbnb marks a billion guest arrivals—and the billionth guest gets year of stays around the world

By Tanya Lara Published Oct 01, 2021 7:05 pm

Airbnb recently marked 1 billion guest arrivals on the platform—and the billionth guest just got a year of stays around the world, the accommodation platform said in a news release.

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky surprised the billionth guest arrival, Eva from Tübingen, Germany, with $50,000 in Airbnb credits to travel around the world on Airbnb for the next year.

Airbnb started in October 2007 when founders Joe Gebbia and Chesky rented out their San Francisco apartment during a design conference that had “depleted most of the city’s hotel inventory.”

Fourteen years later, what was originally an alternative way to travel “is now truly mainstream and has redefined the travel industry over the past decade.”

Today, Airbnb has more than 4 million hosts (55% of them are women) in over 220 countries and regions around the world. Guest reviews number about 500 million.

Eva, the lucky (and surprised) guest that made the milestone, said, “I am thankful for the Airbnb community as it provides me with the opportunity to feel welcomed all over the world.”

Her advice to Airbnb guests, “Be happy and keep on exploring!”

An Airbnb flat in Bangkok, Thailand

According to the platform, Airbnb has created new income streams for people with the average host earning $9,600 a year or a collective $70 billion around the world since Airbnb started.

“The pandemic has ushered in a fundamental shift in travel. The travel recovery is becoming a travel revolution underpinned by new technologies like Zoom that are blurring the lines between living, working and traveling,” the news release continues. “As we look to the next billion guest arrivals on Airbnb, many will be enabled by this newfound flexibility that many people are experiencing with new trends emerging around extended weekends, the blurring of leisure and business trips, and even longer-term living on Airbnb.”