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With scientists warning that the coronavirus COVID-19 won't be going away anytime soon, it has become clear that we need to learn how to live with it, and this includes while traveling. At misterb&b, we know how important travel and connection are for the global LGBTQ community. We also recognize how resilient LGBTQ travelers are. So how can we all host and travel safely with the virus still spreading throughout the world? Here are some ideas for hosts to adapt to this “new normal”. They include plenty of cleaning, enforcing new house rules, respecting physical distancing, and editing your listing slightly.
How can you keep the virus away, even with guests staying at your place?
The secret is simple: clean and disinfect. Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces and lowers the number of germs and the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. In order for guests to feel comfortable and safe booking your place, they need to know that either you or your team have cleaned and disinfected the place according to COVID-19 guidelines. This is why we have established a new cleaning protocol for you to follow. Based on this protocol, we offer you two options to adhere to (see below). If you adhere to one or the other, travelers will be notified of your efforts to guarantee their safety, making them feel confident enough to book your place.
Are you a misterb&b host already? The first time you’ll log in after December 16, 2020, you will be asked to accept the cleaning protocol to be able to continue to use our services.
Are you a new host? You will need to accept the cleaning protocol to certify your listing.
In both cases, a special badge will appear on your listing, informing misterb&b travelers that your efforts will guarantee their safety.
We have also established special guidelines for guests which they will need to approve before being able to book a place.
How can you limit the risks inside your home?
More than ever, be sure to follow COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations from local health authorities and make sure your guests do too. Also, you can enforce new house rules such as:
If you host in a private room, we have additional suggestions:
Reminder for keeping hands clean:
How can you offer them peace of mind?
Inform your guests you are going above and beyond to minimize any risks, and keep the virus away from your home. Update your listing description and highlight these efforts when you reply to a booking request.
Also, we have created a special badge for hosts who agree to follow our respective cleaning protocol, or who agree to a 72-hour vacancy period between 2 stays (see above). Their listings will stand out in the search results page in the coming months with a special badge. A note will also be displayed on their listing page, certifying that they have agreed to offer travelers the greatest level of safety concerning Covid-19.
Have you considered adopting a flexible cancellation policy for the time being, to make guests feel more comfortable booking your place?
More than ever, travelers expect flexibility in terms of canceling or rescheduling their stays. That’s why we recommend you update your cancellation policy from “Strict” to “Flexible”, for the time being. We believe it will give travelers more confidence to book your place. In case they need to cancel, their refund will be much better.
Also, listings with a flexible cancellation policy are very easy to find: we have added a new filter in our search pages under the “reservation policy” section. Guests can filter listings with a flexible cancellation policy in just one click, making it more likely for them to find your updated listing. So, go to “My listings” and then to “Booking Conditions” to adjust your terms.
We just introduced a new "Very Flexible" cancellation policy: based on what we've learned from the last couple of months, this new policy will enable your guests to enjoy a 100% refund up to 24h before their arrival date. We only apply a $10/10€ cancellation fee. This policy will make your place the perfect fit for travelers worried about how the health situation will evolve in the coming weeks and months.
Tip: if guests are considering canceling their booking, you can offer them the possibility to reschedule their trip to a later time, why not with a small discount.
Have you thought about offering a weekly or monthly discount?
One way to mitigate the risk of infection is to limit the number of guests who stay at your place. Offering a discount for longer stays is a great way to achieve this: a significant discount after one week or one month is an excellent incentive for a guest to stay longer. Go to “My listings” and then “Pricing”. You can also extend your “minimum stay” to several days to limit the number of guests.
Why not accept last minute booking requests?
With travel so uncertain, travelers are more likely to make last-minute decisions. Make the most of it and be ready to accept last-minute bookings! Go to “My Listings”, then “Booking Conditions” and check the “Reservation Preferences” at the bottom of the page. Set your “notification time” to “Same day” and set the time until when travelers can book your place for the same day. Important: make sure your place is ready at all times, cleaned and disinfected for possible last-minute guests.
Do you have more ideas and suggestions on how hosts should adapt and prepare for when travel with pick up again? Please let us know via email here.