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Airbnb sees surge in rental demand after coronavirus lockdowns

The home-share company says domestic rentals are up.

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James Martin/CNET
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As coronavirus lockdowns ease across the US, people are apparently flocking to Airbnb and other home rental sites to book nearby summer vacations. 

In the US, Airbnb had more nights booked between May 17 and June 3 than the same period a year ago, according to report Sunday from Bloomberg, which Airbnb confirmed. Domestic bookings on Airbnb are also reportedly up in Germany, Portugal, South Korea, New Zealand and other countries. 

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky told Bloomberg that its "really, really clear" people want to get out of their houses, but added they "don't necessarily want to get on an airplane and are not yet comfortable leaving their countries." 

Airbnb has experienced a financial hit during the pandemic. It's seen tens of thousands of canceled reservations and plummeting revenue. In May, the home rental company decided to lay off around 25% of its employees, which is roughly 1,900 people out of its 7,500 workforce.

The company was on track for an initial public offering this spring, but reportedly postponed those plans. Chesky told Bloomberg that the company hasn't ruled out going public this year, but isn't "committing to it" either. 

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