We’ve put together this guide to help vacation rental owners with any potential disruption caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In this blog, we offer practical advice you can follow now to maintain existing bookings and make a plan for the next few months. We’ve also included the latest information on cancellation policies from our channel partners to keep you as informed as possible.
Last updated: Friday 13th March 2020
How to boost bookings
Tip 1: Lower your prices, treat the next 3-6 months like a slow season
Lowering your price is the single biggest thing you can do to influence your channel search rank in the short term. If you start to see a drop in bookings consider lowering your prices and any deposits. This will make your property more appealing to potential guests.
Tip 2: Choose the most flexible cancellation policy
Focus on attracting more bookings with a more flexible listing rather than imposing cancelation penalties. Greater cancellation flexibility offers your guests a longer cancellation window should they need to cancel their booking. Having the security of an increased cancellation window will make your property more appealing. Guests will be more likely to book if they know they can cancel should circumstances change.
Tip 3: Reduce minimum nights stay
In a period of uncertainty many travelers may be looking for last-minute getaways closer to home. Our current booking trend data indicates travellers are preferring to book shorter stays closer to time of travel. Reducing your minimum night stay to 1,2 or 3 nights will increase your chances of getting booked.
Tip 4: Accept last-minute bookings
Our booking trend data indicates travellers are currently preferring to book close to time of travel – allowing last-minute stays will help your rental appeal to guests looking for something closer to home.
Here is a video recapping these tips and showing you how to make changes in the account.
Advice from our channel partners on cancellations
We understand that our customers will have many questions about whether Coronavirus will affect their upcoming bookings. We have received the following information on Coronavirus directly from our channels partners. Each of the main channels has its own specific policies that will apply in specific circumstances.
We will update this section as we get more information from our other partners.
Booking.com has made some changes to its cancellation policy and has released a Forced Circumstances (FC) policy.
HomeAway has released specific guidance on cancellations for hosts.
TUI has put together a list of FAQS on Coronavirus for guests and hosts.
Expedia have released the following guidance to help travellers change or cancel their bookings.