ORLANDO, Fla. — The holidays are a busy time for Airbnb, made even busier this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company is seeing a demand for holiday travel as families reunite and high interest from international tourists.

What You Need To Know

  • COVID pandemic has boosted interest in Airbnb spots

  • The flexibility resulting from remote work is a key factor, Airbnb indicates

  • Many travelers enjoy immersing themselves in community, an Airbnb spokesperson says

  • Airbnb is reporting more long-term stays in Orlando than in the past

“Remote working is absolutely what is creating a newfound flexibility that is leading to these new trends, and certainly as remote working continues, the need for that flexibility and travel will continue as well,” says Liz Fusco, an Airbnb spokesperson.

Many travelers choose Airbnb for the host experience and to immerse themselves in a local community, Fusco says.

“That’s part of Airbnb that I really enjoy is meeting people from places across the world who are interesting,” Airbnb Superhost Ellie Edwards says.

Her Orlando spot is always in demand, and so is Orlando. Airbnb says it is one of its top 5 most popular destinations in the United States for foreign guests.

Edwards says making her guests comfortable means giving them a spotless place to stay.

“It’s important to us for people to feel like they are in an environment that’s almost sterile because, of course, it is the age of COVID,” she says.

COVID is changing travel habits. Airbnb reports more bookings for long-term stays in Florida than ever.

“I like the camaraderie that comes out of people who stay long term and create a kind of friendship,” Edwards says.

Airbnb indicates that it expects these trends they’re tracking to continue into next year. More than 4,000 of its destinations across the country welcomed foreign guests the week after U.S. borders reopened in November, and some people are staying a full year, Airbnb reports.

Another shift Airbnb is seeing from before the pandemic is that Mondays and Tuesdays are some of the nights that book the fastest.