Airbnb fourth quarter and full-year 2021 financial results

Today we issued our fourth quarter and full-year 2021 financial results. You can read the details here. Airbnb Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky said: 

“The fourth quarter was another record quarter and 2021 was the best year in Airbnb’s history – despite the global pandemic. We are amidst the biggest change to travel since the advent of commercial flying. Airbnb’s adaptable model and relentless innovation are making it possible for us to grow this new category of travel we created.”

Through the adaptability of our model and continued innovation, we were able to close out 2021 with our strongest Q4 ever. Despite the headwinds from Omicron, GBV was $11.3 billion in Q4, representing 32% growth compared to Q4 2019 attributable to nights booked recovering and strength in ADR. Guests are returning to cities and planning more travel despite variants and surges. Our Host community continues to thrive and is larger than ever, with 6 million active listings at the end of 2021. 

Q4 2021 and full-year 2021 Financial Results

  • Q4 revenue of $1.5 billion was 38% higher than Q4 2019. It also exceeded Q4 2020 revenue by nearly 80%. Both year-over-two-year and year-over-year revenue growth rates were further improvements from those achieved in Q3 2021 of 36% and 67%, respectively, despite the impact of Omicron in December 2021. Overall, 2021 has proven to be an incredible year demonstrating the resiliency of the business, with 25% year-over-two-year revenue growth. 
  • Q4 net income of $55 million was a record for the fourth quarter. Net income in Q4 2021 increased by $406 million over a net loss in Q4 2019 due to our revenue growth and continued expense discipline. Net income in Q4 2021 improved by $3.9 billion compared to Q4 2020 due primarily to the absence of one-time expenses related to our December 2020 IPO and our revenue recovery. For the full year 2021, net loss improved $322 million compared to the same period in 2019. 
  • Q4 Adjusted EBITDA of $333 million was our most profitable fourth quarter ever. Adjusted EBITDA in Q4 2021 of $333 million was our highest Q4 ever, increasing significantly from losses in both Q4 2020 and Q4 2019. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 22% for Q4 2021. For the full year 2021, Adjusted EBITDA margin was 27%. This substantial improvement in Adjusted EBITDA demonstrates the continued strength of our business, as well as a significantly improved cost structure1. 

Business highlights 

  • Guests are discovering thousands of small towns and rural communities on Airbnb. Domestic and non-urban travel have grown throughout the pandemic, with non-urban gross nights booked up nearly 45% compared to Q4 2019. 
  • Guests are also returning to cities. Gross nights booked growth at urban destinations in Q4 2021 accelerated from Q3 2021 and have nearly recovered to Q4 2019 levels. In the U.S., gross nights booked for urban travel were up compared to Q4 2019. Finally, cross-border travel continues to recover and has accelerated each quarter in 2021, recovering to nearly 35% of global gross nights booked in Q4 2021, up from 20% in Q1 2021.  
  • Guests are planning more travel despite variants and surges. The impact of Omicron on bookings and cancellations was lower than we experienced with Delta last summer, which was also significantly lower than the impact of the surge in COVID cases in EMEA, in particular, in Q4 2020. Specifically, gross nights booked in December 2021 grew more than 40% from 2020, and the cancellation rate for December trips was lower than a year ago. And despite the continued near-term uncertainties, we see evidence of strong pent-up demand: as of the end of January 2022, we had over 25% more nights booked for the summer travel season than at this time in 2019.  
  • Guests aren’t just traveling on Airbnb—they’re living on Airbnb. Over the last two years, we have seen the average trip length increase by approximately 15%, with stays of more than 7 days now representing nearly half of all gross nights booked. Meanwhile, long-term stays of 28 nights or more remained our fastest growing category by trip length and accounted for 22% of gross nights booked in Q4, up 16% from Q4 2019. The longer guests stay, the more we believe they value the amenities and convenience of staying in a home. Meanwhile, Hosts are responding to this demand for longer stays, as the percentage of active listings accepting stays of 28 nights or longer was over 90% at the end of Q4.
  • We’re relentlessly innovating to support this new way of traveling. We designed over 150 upgrades to our platform throughout 2021. For example, we launched I’m Flexible, a new way to search on Airbnb when you are flexible about where or when you travel. To attract and support new Hosts, we simplified the process to become a Host and created Ask a Superhost1:1 support from our Superhosts. In November, we launched AirCover, top-to-bottom protection, free for every Airbnb Host, only on Airbnb. 
  • Our Host community is growing to meet the travel demand. Our Host community is larger than ever, with 6 million active listings at the end of 2021. Hosts continue to thrive, earning a record $34 billion in 2021. Growth in Host supply has followed the rebound in guest demand, with global total active listings consistently growing quarter over quarter since Q1 2021. We continue to see the greatest growth in supply where we see the greatest growth in demand, including active listings growth of 20% year-over-year in non-urban destinations in North America. 

1A reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable GAAP measures is provided at the end of this letter.