To save money, Airbnb halted all its marketing activities at the end of March in order to save an estimated $800 million in 2020.
In this, it’s not alone.
When a crisis hits, a company’s marketing budget is usually the first to go. It’s pure economics: If consumers are not spending money on products and services, there is little point to invest in marketing them.
It’s also wrong.
Airbnb lowered its internal valuation by 16%, to $26 billion. The company also saw a 40% drop in bookings, and that was back in mid-March. Its hosts are so angry about the company’s recent removal of cancellation fees that some people online thought one particular host video was a parody. The entire travel sector is in turmoil.