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    Why it’s smart to offer flexible cancellations

    Flexible cancellation policies can give guests peace of mind.
    By Airbnb on Mar 23, 2020
    2 min read
    Updated Jul 1, 2021


    • Many guests are looking for more flexibility as they plan their upcoming travels

    • Hosts that switch to flexible cancellation policies tend to see increases in bookings

    • Discover more in our complete guide to navigating hosting during COVID-19

    This year, we’re focused on helping you attract guests for future travel, which includes letting you know about travel trends on Airbnb.

    We’ve shared that many guests are searching for local stays right now. Those who are thinking about traveling later on are understandably wanting more flexibility to rebook or cancel reservations.

    We’ve gathered everything you need to know about offering guests more flexibility, so they can book your space with confidence.

    How can Hosts offer more flexibility?
    Travel restrictions and general uncertainty can make it hard to plan. Consider updating your cancellation policy to help guests feel more comfortable during the booking process. The ability to modify or cancel a reservation may encourage them to book.

    If you have a strict policy in place, you can switch to a flexible, moderate, or firm policy by changing your settings on your Listings page. You can always go back to your strict cancellation policy as needed. 

    According to our latest data, Hosts who switched from a strict or moderate cancellation policy to a flexible policy after April 2020 saw increases in next-month bookings of 10% or more.*

    What should I know about these cancellation policies?
    Flexible cancellation policies may allow guests to get a full refund, including all fees (like the Airbnb service fee or any cleaning fee** charged by the Host), when they cancel at least 24 hours before the listing’s local check-in time. Please check this page to find out exactly how cancellations work for stays.

    How can I change my cancellation policy?
    You can update your cancellation policies across multiple listings at once on your Listings page. If you use software to connect to Airbnb, you’ll likely need to make this update with your software.

    How will Airbnb support me if I change my cancellation policy to offer more flexibility?
    We’ve rolled out a search filter to show listings with cancellation flexibility, so guests can easily find the ones that best suit their needs. 

    During times of uncertainty, offering more flexible cancellation options can be one way to help you attract guests for future travel. Please note that this policy may change due to updates made by local communities and relevant authorities.

    We’ll keep sharing more travel trends, hosting tips, and new tools to support your hosting business, and we’re also answering all of your top questions here. As always, thank you for being part of the Airbnb community.

    *According to internal Airbnb global booking data collected between April 2020 and April 2021. 

    **Excluding Hosts who offer accommodations in mainland China. Find out more

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

    Mar 23, 2020
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