The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting the travel industry around the world. Public health is the top priority as we try to slow the spread of this new virus. As people’s behavior changes drastically in the coming months, vacation rental managers must carefully consider ways to stay the course and keep their businesses healthy.
We’re here to help. Over the past week, our team of vacation rental marketing experts has compiled a list of new strategies aimed at travelers who are looking to stay healthy and keep others safe during the coronavirus outbreak.
Offer a relaxing, crowd-free option
Vacation rentals—unlike hotels, cruise ships, and the airlines—offer a crowd–free option where people can control their surroundings. If you manage a house with a private pool or a large entertainment system, let people know. These private sanctuaries are exactly what people are looking for. Create messaging about how guests can enjoy a vacation without the shared, crowded spaces of hotels and cruise ships. By choosing a vacation rental instead of a hotel, travelers can avoid elevators, crowded common areas, and check-in lines.
Encourage fresh air
Vacation rentals are often in more remote areas with less direct exposure to other travelers. These types of destinations, like the mountains, beaches, and desert landscapes, offer plenty of fresh air and ways to have fun outside, which are great options right now. Give guests tips on outdoor activities and ways to safely spend their time.
Because airline travel is being discouraged, people are looking for alternatives. If you manage rentals in a drive–to destination, you can appeal to travelers who may have previously wanted to fly somewhere. Many people will be willing to drive further distances to go on vacation. Encourage guests to skip the airplane and embark on a family road trip to a vacation rental instead. Email newsletters and social media are a great way to promote homes with availability. And don’t forget that you can target your message to only those within driving distance of your area.
Empathize with your guests
This is an important time to give your guests peace of mind and show what you are doing to sanitize properties after each stay. Be upfront and honest with your guests about your cancellation policy and add leniency if possible, allowing guests to reschedule for a later date if need be.
Keep people informed
Update your website’s content to keep people informed on local event cancellations. Give people information on what to do if they do become ill and where they can find the latest information about the virus in your area.
Reach out for help
COVID-19 should not be taken lightly and we encourage everyone to follow the guidance of health officials in their area. During this uncertain time, Bluetent is fully committed to helping vacation rental managers keep their businesses on track. We’re working with companies to make them leaders in their community, update cancelation policies, adjust rates, and appeal to guests with new, safe ways to travel. Please reach out if we can help you and your business in any way.