Airbnb revenue has hit $1.5 billion for the January-March period for the first time in the company's history.
The U.S.-based home-sharing and alternative accommodation giant saw revenue increase by 70% year-over-year - 80% higher than the corresponding quarter in 2019 ($839 million), before its listing on the public markets.
Pandemic-battered 2020 and 2021 saw the company hit revenues of $842 million and $887 million respectively in the first quarter of the financial year.
Airbnb's ongoing strategy to attract digital nomads and longer stays to its portfolio of properties is continuing, with the company revealing 21% of gross nights booked in Q1 2022 were for stays of 28 days or more.
This figure is up from 13% in 2019 and slightly down from the 24% in 2021. Almost half of all stays booked on the platform are for periods of at least one week.
Overall, some 102.1 million room nights were booked on the platform in Q1 2022, up by 57% on 2021 and bringing in gross booking value of $17.2 billion (up 67% year over year).
Airbnb says it achieved its first profitable Q1 period, with adjusted EBITDA at $229 million (up from losses in 2019 and 2021). Net losses stood at $19 million for the three months - an improvement on the $292 million red mark in 2019.
The strong start to the financial year comes, in part, due to huge demand despite "ongoing pandemic concerns, the war in Ukraine and macroeconomic headwinds," the company claims.
All global regions with the exception of Asia Pacific are seeing strong recovery rates in nights and experiences booked on the platform, with Latin America the standout part of the world with a 65% higher level in Q1 2022 compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019.
Restrictions on cross-border travel in Asia Pacific (specifically China) have prevented a meaningful recovery and bookings remained "depressed."
The company says, "While we have seen COVID distort the historic patterns of seasonality in 2020 and, to a lesser extent, the first half 2021 as a result of travel restrictions and changing travel preferences relating to the pandemic, we are seeing pre-pandemic patterns of seasonality return in 2022."
Speaking on the earnings call with analysts, CEO Brian Chesky claims the company gets 90% of its traffic through direct or unpaid channels.
"Advertising is really a form of supplemental education for us. It's not the core driver of growth. We think the core driver of growth, Airbnb is innovation. It's about building a product that people love.
"And the role of marketing isn't to buy customers. The role of marketing for us is to educate people about our new features and our new offerings."
Regarding some of the product lines that were taken off the table during the COVID-19 pandemic, or de-emphasized, Chesky says that the current reporting year will see it focus on attempts to capture as much market share as possible on its core product (alternative accommodation - "perishable," he calls it) but other opportunities are being looked at.
Airbnb Experiences is a "big area" of investment in the coming years, Chesky says, with it being ramped up again in 2022 and "even more" in 2023.
Chesky also claims the "I'm Flexible" search functionality has been used two billion times by users on the site.
He adds: "We're seeing people booked properties outside of a lot of the popular tourist destinations.
"And we're seeing an ability to redistribute travel demand beyond the top popular hotspots like Rome, Paris, Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles. So that's really the most important thing that 'I'm Flexible' can do."
Airbnb is expected to announce a raft on enhancements to the service in mid-May, Chesky says, making it easier for hosts to list on the site, attract more hosts and manage of properties and their availability.