Airbnb on Wednesday said India is one of the fastest growing markets for the company, and the growth here will be driven by the youth going forward.
"Investing in the Indian market is like making a long-term investment in what is and will be one of the largest economies in the world,"Airbnbco-founder and CEOBrian Cheskysaid at the virtual Economic Times Global Business Summit on Wednesday.
He added that India has a deep history of hospitality. "I am incredibly excited about the market. It's been growing very quickly."
Chesky said most of India's population is going to be under the age of 35, and they will be the ones to lead the way over the next 20-30 years.
"I think the youth are going to be the ones leading the way over the next 20-30 years," he added.
Talking about the travel industry, which is going through turmoil due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said it is never going to be the same again.
"The travel industry has irreversibly altered, we can all debate and guess how it's going to change. But, we know it has changed forever. We are never ever going back to the way it was in January because change doesn't go backwards, it only goes forward," he said.
He added that a couple of things that are going to happen is that there is going to be more travel redistribution.
"In the world before the pandemic, there was probably an overconcentration of tourists, going to a handful small cities travelling... And, so my optimistic point of view is that travel will get redistributed, this is what we are seeing," he said.
Chesky added that 60 per cent of Airbnb's business is now outside of cities. "And then once you discover fewer urban areas and more rural areas, national parks. This will unlock a whole other part of the world."
Another trend, he said, that is emerging is that traveling and living are going to start to blur.
On Airbnb filing for an initial public offering, he said the company has filed papers with the Security Exchange Commission and will go public once the market is ready.
"Before the pandemic hit, we were intending to file it. Then obviously COVID-19 happened and the business dropped. We put it on the shelf, and we dusted it off. When the markets are ready for Airbnb, we will be public," he added.
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