A banner year for Airbnb. The housing platform had its best holiday season and first profitable year in 2022, according to an earnings release on Tuesday. The housing reservation platform achieved 8.4 billion in turnover (40% over one year) in 2022, from which it generated 1.9 billion in net profit.

In the fourth quarter, its revenues rose 24% year-on-year, despite a difficult economic environment marked by inflation and massive social plans in the United States. Above all, its net profit was almost multiplied by five, to 319 million dollars, well beyond market expectations. It’s the “fourth most profitable quarter” in Airbnb’s history, the California group said.

Its title took more than 9% during electronic trading after the closing of the New York Stock Exchange. Brian Chesky, the company’s boss, was also optimistic for the current quarter, with users who “always book more in advance”. “Travellers have started visiting cities again and going abroad. (This kind of travel) was Airbnb’s livelihood before the pandemic,” he said in a conference call.

The platform had 6.6 million homes open for rent at the end of December, 16% more than a year ago (not counting China). An acceleration of the offer that Brian Chesky put on the account of the attraction for individuals to generate additional income “often essential in these difficult times”, but also improvements in the service.

Airbnb set up a system in the fall that allows neophyte hosts to be advised by experienced hosts, paid by the company. “The number of new active hosts recruited with the help of our superhosts has increased by 20%,” assured Brian Chesky. The platform has also added the ability to verify the identity of travelers and increased the amount of damage covered by its AirCover insurance.

In China, Airbnb expects a “fairly gradual recovery”. In the spring of 2022, the group had decided to suspend its offer of housing for rent in China because of the repeated confinements since the beginning of 2020, but the platform remained open to Chinese wishing to rent housing abroad. “We think there are going to be hundreds of millions of people who want to […] travel the world,” Brian Chesky said, referring in particular to those under 30 who “really want authentic experiences when they travel.”

In 2020, faced with the pandemic and health restrictions, Airbnb had to lay off a quarter of its workforce and review its priorities. “I had tried to create too many things at once,” Brian Chesky told AFP last November.