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    April 28: Helping you prepare for the future of travel

    Learn about our new cleaning protocol, plus get more answers to your questions.
    By Airbnb on Apr 28, 2020
    26 min video
    Updated Nov 13, 2020


    • Enhanced Cleaning Initiative: An expert-led protocol launches in May

    • Support payments: New information on your dashboard will make it easy to track which cancellations are eligible

    • Superhost Relief Fund: We’re inviting hosts to apply, and we’re prioritizing the longest-standing hosts who are struggling financially

    During the latest Host Update, CEO Brian Chesky answered more questions from our global listening sessions and shared what Airbnb is doing to help you prepare for new travelers. Here are some of the highlights:

    Introducing our Enhanced Cleaning Initiative

    Now more than ever, guests want reassurance that you’re taking cleaning seriously. And one of the best ways to offer that reassurance is to take your cleaning practices to the next level. So we’re excited to announce that we’ll be rolling out the Airbnb Enhanced Cleaning Initiative next month. Here’s what you need to know:

    • We’re developing a new cleaning protocol with guidance from experts, including Dr. Vivek Murthy, former U.S. Surgeon General
    • Available starting in May, the protocol will cover supplies, sanitization techniques, room-by-room instructions, and more
    • Guests will be able to easily find and identify hosts who are following the protocol

    We hope this initiative will take some of the guesswork out of cleaning while offering peace of mind to guests.

    How we’re helping hosts secure future bookings

    Some of you are wondering what we’re doing to encourage travelers to book stays on Airbnb. Although marketing spend is limited right now, we’re still working on a few important initiatives to help drive bookings. From emailing guests each week to improving our website and app, we’re doing what we can to stay top of mind with travelers and to make Airbnb their first choice once they’re ready to travel again. 

    And there are a few things hosts can do, too. Participating in our Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, updating your listing description, and making small home improvements may help encourage future bookings.

    An update on COVID-19 cancellations and support payments

    Many of you have more questions about our extenuating circumstances policy—you’re wondering whether or not it will apply to summer reservations, and you need clarification around the support payments we announced last month.

    Some updates on our extenuating circumstances policy:

    • For reservations booked after March 14: Unless they’re sick with COVID-19, guests who need to cancel for COVID-19-related reasons won’t be refunded under the extenuating circumstances policy. Instead, your cancellation policy will apply in these cases.
    • For reservations booked before March 15: We’re continuing to follow the guidance of governments and health experts, and the policy may continue to apply if travel restrictions remain in place. At the beginning of each month - and more often if conditions require it - we’ll let you know if reservations for the following month will qualify for cancellations without charges under our extenuating circumstances policy. So on May 1, we’ll confirm whether or not the policy will apply to June check-ins.

    Some updates on support payments:

    • You’ve asked if we can make the support payment amounts more visible to you, so you can better calculate your overall earnings
    • We’ve heard your feedback, and we’re working on an update to the reservations dashboard that will display these payments along with other cancellation information
    • Hosts with eligible cancellations before April 8 should receive their first payment by May 1

    Clarifying our Superhost Relief Fund eligibility

    Another topic that’s come up a lot in our global listening sessions is the Superhost Relief Fund, which was created to help some of our most experienced hosts who are struggling financially.

    • To start, we’re inviting the longest-standing members of our community—which typically means they’ve had Superhost status for four or more years. We’re also comparing these hosts’ earnings from this year and last year to make sure we’re inviting hosts who’ve been most impacted by the current crisis.
    • Hosts who are eligible will be invited by Airbnb—we’ve already started sending out invitations, and we’ll keep doing so every week through mid-May.
    • If you’ve been invited to apply, you’ll get an email with a link to the application. We’ve got a specialized team in place to review applications as they come in. If you’ve applied, you should get a response within two weeks.

    We hope these updates answer some of the questions you have around hosting now and in the future. Yes, there’s a lot of uncertainty out there, but together we can help rebuild confidence in travel. As always, thank you for being part of our community.

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

    Apr 28, 2020
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