Economics/Class Relations

Airbnb’s cruel summer

June 24, 2023
Happy Saturday, Insiders! Americans are still booking short-term rentals from Airbnb and Vrbo at record rates. But the growing pool of hosts means some short-term-rental owners are seeing their revenue drop by up to 18%. More last-minute bookings, shorter stays, and budget travelers are leaving hosts scrambling to book stays. That new normal is today’s big story.


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Cruel summer

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It’s an unpredictable time for Airbnb and Vrbo hosts — but it also might be the new normal.

Airbnb and Vrbo hosts across the US are scratching their heads, Insider’s Dan Latu reports.

The status quo of post-lockdown travel, where hosts raked in a record amount of revenue and could stay reliably booked with little effort, has shifted.

Those who expect guests to pay top dollar and book months in advance are waking up to a different reality — where shorter stays are the norm, last-minute bookings prevail, and slashing nightly rates has become more common.

“It’s possible that the new normal is just more sporadic and not so reliable,” an Arizona short-term-rental host told Insider.


Titanic submersible



This week, Insider readers were gripped by the search for the missing Titanic submersible, which likely imploded during its descent in the Atlantic. Here’s what you may have missed:
  • There were five key mistakes in the lead-up to the sub’s catastrophic implosion, including that the hull of the craft was made of carbon fiber and that concerns over its early-warning system were ignored. It appears most of the issues could have been avoided.
  • The Titan’s first experimental carbon-fiber hull was designed and made on a six-week deadline. According to a 2017 report, the whole production was turned around in less than two months — and OceanGate’s CEO has said he’d “broken some rules” with the use of the material.
  • Wealthy travelers are plenty familiar with high-risk adventure bookings. From Everest trips to $750,000 expeditions into the depths of the ocean, here’s a look at some of the most popular risky choices.

Gen Z homebuyers, twin workouts, & more

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images and Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images


  • The Elon Musk vs. Mark Zuckerberg showdown. Insider’s Hasan Chowdhury thinks the Meta chief can win the cage fight. He writes that Musk may have a size advantage, but Zuck has an everything-else advantage.
  • Gen Z homebuyers are flocking to three cities the most. Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, and Birmingham, Alabama, have become the most popular cities for young homebuyers, a LendingTree report found — as young people avoid expensive cities in California and New York.
  • These twins did the same workout for three months. But one of them exercised for half as long each time — and their physiques and strength improved almost exactly the same amount. Take a look at their photos.
  • Fewer Microsoft employees indicated they have confidence in leadership in an annual employee poll. A question about whether working at Microsoft is a “good deal” received the least-favorable responses, according to results viewed by Insider.
  • An airline worker texted a passenger after looking up her number in the company system. The 23-year-old passenger tweeted about receiving a WhatsApp messages from an Etihad Airways staffer ahead of her flight: “If am disturbing u… just block me.”
  • ‘I’m an American who lived in the Philippines for more than 20 years.’ Marielle Descalsota has seen tourists disrespect local customs and ignore personal-safety measures. These are the most common mistakes travelers make on vacation here.
  • TikTokers are reeling over an OceanGate job posting advertising an “immediate opening” for a submersible pilot. The company’s job posting asks for a committed candidate with a sense of humor.

Big Tech at the White House

Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images


Some of the tech and business industries’ top executives attended a White House dinner on Thursday. Among them were leaders from Google, Apple, and OpenAI, all convening for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington. See photos from the event here.

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This edition was compiled by Lisa Ryan and Phil Rosen. Get in touch:

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