March 12, 2020 / 7:41 PM / in 24 days

Airbnb bookings take hit amid global coronavirus outbreak

A woman talks on the phone at the Airbnb office headquarters in the SOMA district of San Francisco, California, U.S., August 2, 2016. REUTERS/Gabrielle Lurie

(Reuters) - U.S. home rental company Airbnb Inc’s bookings in major cities across the world have taken a blow due to coronavirus-fueled uncertainty in the travel industry, data from Airbnb-analytics firm AirDNA shows.

Daily reservations have fallen in major cities such as Beijing, Seoul, Rome and Milan throughout the first two months of 2020, according to data here published on Wednesday.

Bookings slumped 96% in Beijing, with only 1,655 reservations in the first week of March, down from 40,508 bookings from Jan. 5 to Jan. 11, the AirDNA report said.

Travel restrictions, event cancellations and falling demand due to the global outbreak have put pressure on airlines and other players in the travel industry.

Adding to the pressure, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered sweeping restrictions on travel from Europe for the next 30 days in a bid to halt the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 will have an impact in the near-term, but travel is resilient and will rebound, Airbnb said in a blog here

The company is considering going public around mid-2020, a timeline that would help it avoid any stock market volatility in the runup to the U.S. presidential election, Reuters reported in October, citing people familiar with the matter.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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