Airbnb rolls out sanitisation plan

In the YourLifeChoices Life in a post-pandemic world survey (which you can still fill in for your chance to win a $500 Webjet gift card), travellers over 55 have, so far, clearly stated that cleaning and infection control will be very important to them when travelling post-COVID-19.

Cleanliness standards were already important, but will guide guest preferences for years to come, writes Dennis Schaal in his recent Skift Take.

“Short-term rental host practices will have to undergo significant enhancements to cope with that changing consumer behaviour – a heightened sensitivity to just how clean their surroundings are as an outgrowth of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Airbnb is rolling out Enhanced Cleaning Protocols – two voluntary sanitisation and coronavirus prevention programs for hosts. It is hoped that such cleanliness programs will drive post-coronavirus guest confidence.

young woman cleaning airbnb accommodation

The first program includes a ‘booking buffer tool’ that would prevent reservations between stays for up to 72 hours, during which time cleaning would be the only permissible activity.

The buffer tool will be the less rigorous of the two programs and is for hosts who may not be able to commit to a sanitisation certification process.

The stricter program is called the cleaning protocol program, in which hosts pledge to clean every room in a home using enhanced guidance and procedures. According to Airbnb, the more rigorous cleaning protocol program would include a certification process, and there will be a 24-hour buffer between stays.

“However, we appreciate that not all hosts are able to meet the requirements of the cleaning protocol, so the booking buffer – currently set at 72 hours – is an alternative” said an Airbnb spokesperson.

“We have seen signals that the COVID-19 pandemic will shape future guest preferences, and we believe that opting into the enhanced cleaning initiative is the best way for hosts to show guests that our community takes cleanliness and sanitisation seriously.”

“The cleaning protocol will also include specific information on COVID-19 prevention, like a wait period before entering, use of personal protective equipment, like masks and gloves, as well as disinfectants and sanitisers that are approved by regulatory authorities,” Airbnb stated. “These standards will be available to all hosts and we encourage them to commit and adopt these enhanced cleaning practices.”

Other booking sites, property managers, and hotels around the world will no doubt launch similar cleaning programs, as the travel world prepares to come out of COVID-19 hibernation.

Will this sort of program put your mind at ease when booking accommodation?

How has COVID-19 affected you? How will you come out the other side? Why not tell us in the YourLifeChoices Life in a post-pandemic world survey? You could win a $500 Webjet gift card.

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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