Aug 7 (Reuters) - The coronavirus pandemic is spurring more
travelers to book vacation rentals as they seek safety, the
chief executive of online travel agency Booking Holdings
said on Friday.
Alternative accommodations, including homes and apartments,
made up 40% of all new bookings in the second quarter on
Booking.com. In 2019, the business represented about 21% of
Booking Holdings revenue.
"The desire of people to be isolated away from other people
has accelerated the trend of booking alternative
accommodations," Chief Executive Officer Glenn Fogel told
Still, Booking Holdings on Thursday reported an 87% drop in
its booked room nights for the three months ended June 30, due
to the health crisis and related travel restrictions, with
overall revenues tumbling to $630 million from $3.85 billion.
Travelers are choosing to stay closer to their home, and are
more interested in less urban areas than pre-COVID period, Fogel
Fogel expects the shift toward alternative accommodations to
continue in the "long run" as people get more comfortable
working from home.
"Many people may be taking longer weekends where they won't
go to office on a Friday and still do their work from somewhere
else," Fogel said.
"A lot of people may find it more attractive to do that from
a home than a double occupancy hotel room."
(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj