Airbnb just set a new record on August 4, the consumer-to-consumer lodging site reports.60,000 people stayed at an Airbnb location that night.
In June, Airbnb said that a guest was booking a night’s stay every two seconds That’s roughly 43,000 guest nights booked every day.
That’s a huge leap in just a few months. The comparison is imperfect, since booking activity and the actual stays happen at different times. But since Airbnb trips tend to be longer-term than the average hotel stay, we think the number’s significant.
Here’s the most interesting number, though: Of the 60,000 people who stayed at Airbnb on August 4, a company rep tells us, 3 out of 4 were first-time Airbnb guests.
That’s to be expected. Outside of tech circles, most people haven’t even heard of Airbnb yet. The U.S. hotel industry alone has 4.8 million rooms available. So Airbnb is a drop in the bucket right now.
And across Airbnb’s network, its average occupancy is low—not surprising, since many of its hosts only rent their properties occasionally, as a sideline or hobby.
The challenge for Airbnb—one of a handful of startups to command a valuation of $1 billion or more—right now is to get the word out.
At the same time, it has to sort through the thorny legal issues around whether its hosts have to comply with local hotel taxes and zoning regulations. (Not surprisingly, most cities, including its hometown of San Francisco, think they do. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has a different take.)