Photographer: Philippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images

Airbnb Guns for China to Become Leading Source of Travelers

Airbnb Inc. 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 percent 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 U.S.”

The optimism on China comes despite the startup losing its first local head just four months into the job. Blecharczyk was appointed chairman of the home-rental company’s Chinese operations in October - the same month its first dedicated China head Hong Ge quit.

— With assistance by David Ramli, Sterling Wong, Haslinda Amin, and Richard Lewis

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