Atul Gupta in August 2010 (Photo by Gallo Images/Financial Mail/Robert Tshabalala)
Beijing - Airbnb is opening more offices in China and expects the country to be its leading source of customers by 2020.
Domestic guest arrivals in China have grown 289% over the past year, co-founder
Nathan Blecharczyk told Bloomberg Television in Vietnam, where he was attending the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
“Over the last 12 months, we’ve done 55 million guest arrivals across
the APEC member economies and a lot of that has been driven by China, ”
he said. “It’s our second-fastest growing country in the world for
outbound travel, second only to the US”
The optimism on China comes despite the startup
losing its first local head just four months into the job. Blecharczyk
was appointed chairperson of the home-rental company’s Chinese operations
in October - the same month its first dedicated China head
Hong Ge quit.