Airbnb is expected to complete its much anticipated IPO before the end of 2020 and Wall Street analysts are understandably excited, while hospitality industry experts worry that access to cheaper capital would allow Airbnb to increase its share of the current ultra-weak travel demand at the expense of hotels. This year Airbnb's US adult user base is expected to fall 60.0% to 17.0 million, the first time of negative user growth (eMarketer). No wonder, the company's valuation plummeted by 58% to $18 billion in a desperate coronavirus-driven fundraising in April 2020 from its previous high of $31 billion. Due to increased competition, its market share in the U.S. is expected to decrease to under 70% by 2022 from the current level of nearly 73% (eMarketer). The question is, how big of a threat to the hospitality industry, if at all, is Airbnb's upcoming IPO?
Welcome to 2020. Airbnb is part of the hospitality industry already. Get over it.
I hope IPO cash might help them ease Expedia and Booking's oligopolistic power. I hope IPO cash might have them boost a faster global return to travel. I suspect it's rather marginal for hotels on both counts.