Supporting Local Communities During the Coronavirus Outbreak
The impact of COVID-19 on the short-term rental and travel industries in particular has been far-reaching. While it may feel like it’s hard to connect and effect change while practicing social distancing, we’d like to share some meaningful ways in which members of the travel community can support each other during this time.
Show Local Businesses You Care
Between the travel slowdown and health and safety regulations, the restaurants, independent shops and cultural institutions near your properties are likely suffering tremendously. These businesses are partners in the experiences you provide for your guests year-round. If you can afford to, now is the time to order takeaway when you can’t sit down, purchase gift certificates for future dates and make donations to keep these institutions afloat until the situation improves. You can even tune into cultural events, like museum tours or concerts, virtually to show your support.
If folks among these business owners are in high-risk groups (i.e. elderly or immunocompromised), consider offering meal delivery or dropping off supplies they may need while staying home.
Additionally, with everyone feeling the impact of both financial uncertainty and social isolation, consider hosting an online event where your industry peers can share their experiences and offer support. You can use a tool like Zoom or Google Hangouts to include as many people as possible.
Make Yourself Available to Emerging Traveler Types
As industry heavyweight Matt Landau pointed out in his newsletter, the COVID-19 outbreak is giving way to new types of travelers seeking out particular types of spaces. There are those who need a quiet cabin or rural property to practice social distancing outside the confines of a crowded city, others looking for a new “work from home” arrangement, some who need a place to stay when a roommate or partner is in quarantine and some who may be stuck in their current destinations due to travel regulations.
Even if these are not your usual guests, part of coming together as a community means being flexible with your business (such as rethinking your average daily rate) to provide spaces for these people when possible.
Spread Accurate Information
Outside of the health risks themselves, one of the biggest downsides of this crisis is the anxiety caused by misinformation. Do your part to keep panic to a minimum and ensure that your community has access to up-to-date information from reliable sources.
For professional contacts:
- Guesty’s Help Center
- Transparent’s coronavirus data and infocenter
- Airbnb’s Help Center
- Booking.com’s Help Center
- Skift’s coronavirus liveblog
Above all, stay safe and stay healthy!