COVID-19 & your hosting business: How to minimize the impact

Travelers want more flexibility. Here’s what hosts can offer right now.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting many in our community, whether personally or because of disruptions to their hosting or travel plans. And while many travelers are choosing to stay home during this uncertain time, some are still considering local stays and future travel.

Here’s what hosts can do to meet those guests’ needs right now:

  • Adopt a more flexible cancellation policy:Understandably, many guests are uncertain about booking future travel. If you currently have a strict \ cancellation policy in place, consider switching to a flexible one (you can always go back to your strict cancellation policy later on). Knowing they have more flexibility to cancel may give guests the confidence to move forward with a new reservation.
  • Open your calendar for longer stays—and offer weekly discounts:Many guests may be looking for weekly stays. By opening your calendar up for longer stays, you can attract these guests, get more predictability throughout the month, and reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning and prepping for new guests. Consider offering a discount on stays of 7 days or longer—less than 50% of hosts offer a weekly discount, and those who do tend to get more bookings for longer stays.
  • Let guests know your space has the amenities they need right now.As many face school closures and shift toward remote work, those who decide to book a stay may be drawn to work- and family-friendly accommodation. If your space offers things like fast wifi, a comfortable workspace, and/or is suitable for children, make sure to update your amenities to reflect that. Please keep in mind that we’re encouraging all guests to respect local guidelines about gatherings or social interactions.
  • Offer self check-in.Many guests may prefer to check themselves in rather than meet in person. If you can, consider installing a key lockbox or smart lock with a keypad.
  • Cleaning routine.Guests may want extra info about the cleanliness of your space. You might consider sharing the types of cleaning products you use, how often you clean the space, the type of cleaning products you’ll have available for guests, and other details.

During these times of uncertainty, we’re asking everyone in our community to be considerate to hosts and guests who need to cancel. As the situation evolves, we’re closely monitoring guidance from governmental and health authorities, and we ask that guests and hosts follow official guidelines and recommendations.

Thank you once again for being a host, and for your patience and understanding as we work to support our entire community.