Airbnb’s Newest Influencer Is….CEO Brian Chesky

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Airbnb has been a keen practitioner of public relations over the years, and the volume of press releases the company puts out each year is legion. Brian Chesky’s year-long stint as a digital nomad aligns with the company’s narrative and brand marketing strategy.

Denis Schaal

Travel online this week

Airbnb Co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky hasn’t been shy about acknowledging that public relations, and a resulting torrent of press articles, have been instrumental in building the Airbnb brand — and he’s not losing. no time to pursue this formula in 2022.

Chesky, who has about 405,000 Twitter followers, tweeted On Tuesday, he will live in Airbnb properties throughout the year, moving to a different city or town every few weeks, in a bid to highlight the “decentralization of life”, where millions of Airbnb guests , according to him, will travel abroad or otherwise away from home. live and work in 2022.

From July to December 2021, 20% of nights booked through Airbnb were for stays of a month or longer, Chesky tweeted, and stays of a week or longer accounted for nearly half of all nights booked.

“In 2022, I think the biggest travel trend will be people spreading out to thousands of towns and cities, staying for weeks, months, or even entire seasons at a time,” he said. he tweeted.

The digital nomad CEO, who said he will be returning to his home base of San Francisco quite often over the course of the year, tweeted that his world tour – Atlanta is the first stop – will be “fun, but more importantly, it will help us improve the experience for people who can now live anywhere.

Many destinations hire social media influencers to tout the appeal of their cuisine, cultures or communities, but Chesky will no doubt fulfill that role on its own this year, catching the attention of social media and the press, as he jumps from one list to another according to his priorities. to secure good Wifi and adequate work and living space, as well as pedestrian areas where he can soak up the local atmosphere.

Hey, Airbnb, other booking platforms, airlines, destinations and media such as The New York Times have no patent to generate buzz based on getaways like these. In 2011, Starwood Hotels announced that it would move its CEO and senior management to Shanghai, China to live and work for a month.

As Chesky seeks to punctuate the idea that travel and life are being redefined on Airbnb through digital nomad wanderings, Starwood at the time was promoting China’s ascendancy and the hotel chain’s commitment in what was its second market.

If the goal is to come out of your year at Airbnbs with tons of learnings about how to improve the Airbnb experience, Chesky is definitely not the right person for the job. Granted, some hosts may not recognize Brian Chesky’s name when they accept a reservation and welcome their new VIP guest, but many will.

As some twitterati have pointed out, the authenticity of the experience will also diminish, which will happen when the CEO of Airbnb has to contact customer service to resolve an issue with a host or property. Chesky certainly won’t have to wait the many hours that regular Airbnb customers have to deal with when something goes wrong with their reservation.

But having the CEO of Airbnb live the brand and walk around the bled is sure to generate a ton of free media.

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