Navigate forward to access suggested results

    What guests want now—and what you can do about it

    Consider these four ways to evolve your hosting business as travel returns.
    By Airbnb on Jun 4, 2020
    3 min read
    Updated Apr 21, 2021


    • Because advance planning is difficult for everyone right now, consider allowing flexible cancellations and last-minute bookings

      • You can also offer self check-in and other features that support social distancing

      • Share the details of your cleaning routine after committing to the five-step enhanced cleaning process

      • Discover more in our complete guide to preparing now for the return of travel

      As travel starts to return, we’ve noticed some hosts are starting to think strategically about how to adapt to the shifting landscape. We’ve gathered everything you need to know about helping guests feel more comfortable booking a stay in your space. Here’s what guests are searching for right now:

      Last-minute bookings

      With some travel restrictions still in place, it’s hard to plan right now. While travel varies by region, recently almost one-third of bookings have been made within a week of travel.*

      • Take advantage of this trend by ensuring that your “Advance Notice” reservation preferences are set to the minimum notice you’re comfortable with. You can set it for 1-, 2-, or 3-days’ notice
      • It’s also a good time to consider switching to Instant Book if you don’t have that setting activated


      Like you, many guests will want to take extra steps to protect themselves—and they’ll want to know what extra steps you’re taking. In recent surveys, the majority of past and prospective guests have told us they’d feel more comfortable staying with their families in a space listed on Airbnb than at a hotel. 

      Here’s how you can appeal to travelers who value privacy:

      • Be sure to point out any features about your space that make it easier to isolate, like having a private entrance or being free from neighbors
      • If you offer exclusive amenities for your space—like a pool, hot tub, garden, or outdoor space—be clear that there isn’t shared access
      • Help encourage social distancing by offering self check-in and checkout. Guests searching for places to stay nearby are filtering for self check-in, so consider installing a key lockbox or smart lock with a keypad. Remember to update your listing with self check-in instructions.
      • Minimize person-to-person contact by avoiding routine maintenance during your guest’s stay


      Those who are thinking about traveling are understandably wanting more flexibility during these uncertain times. Being able to modify or cancel a reservation may encourage guests to go ahead and book, so here’s what to keep in mind:

      • To help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on your hosting business, consider updating your cancellation policy
      • If you have a strict policy in place, you can switch to a flexible or moderate one by changing your settings on your Listings page. You can always go back to your strict cancellation policy as needed.
      • Airbnb is supporting hosts who offer more flexibility with a search filter to show listings with cancellation flexibility, so guests can easily find the ones that best suit their needs


      Cleanliness is more important than ever. Here are some ways you can let guests know about the extra steps you’re taking:

      • Elevate your cleaning routine: As part of Airbnb’s COVID-19 safety practices—which requires hosts and guests to wear face masks around each other and maintain 6 feet (2 meters) of distance—hosts of stays are also required to follow our five-step enhanced cleaning process. The process is based on Airbnb’s cleaning handbook, which was developed in partnership with experts.
      • Update your listing description: While we won’t allow you to claim that your listing is coronavirus-free, you can share details in your listing description about your cleaning methods. (Example: “Due to the coronavirus, we’re taking extra steps to clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces between reservations.”)

      We hope you find these tips useful as you prepare to welcome guests again. We’ll continue sharing travel trends and tips to help you navigate hosting through disruptions caused by COVID-19, so please bookmark, and check back regularly for updates.

      *According to Airbnb booking data as of June 2, 2020

      Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

      Jun 4, 2020
      Was this helpful?