The travel, tourism and hospitality industry in the Gold Coast has been devastated by the impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

Many Airbnb hosts are out of the game, the sharp down turn has forced a lot Airbnb hosts to vacated their Airbnb homes to make them available for long-term rentals. They have also contacted their banking institutes to pause mortgage payments, after Airbnb dropped a nuclear bomb on Airbnb hosts around the world. Airbnb offered free cancellations to all bookings after the 17th of March. Melinda from Unique Bnb Hosts had lost over $65,000 in bookings and had about 58 cancellations so far due to the Covid 19 pandemic, which wiped Melinda’s calendar clean.

Melinda managed to have some success and recouped quite a few of those bookings with long term guest. These guests either were quarantining for 14 days, selling their homes, moving back from abroad, backpackers stuck in Australia or people doing renovations in their homes. While she had success, she also had to offer very hefty discounts up to 60% to fill the apartments.

While global recovery may be some time away, what is clear is that the market will experience different stages of recovery. Melinda has begun to see some optimism especially with borders opening, school holidays and investors looking to buy. She is now looking to rebuild and re-emerge from the crisis. The process for the travel industry will be complicated as well as lengthy, especially for these winter months as host heavily rely on the Asian and New Zealand market at this time of the year.

We need to be agile, opportunistic and innovative to move forward.

With 3 months of lock down, travellers will turn to their next accessible and available option which will be domestic travel and experiences. Australians are already on the hunt for domestic holidays.

In late April, Airbnb released new enhanced cleaning protocols for hosts which include recommendations for how to clean every room in a home.

Guest should also feel more comfortable in knowing that Airbnb have implemented a strict cleaning protocol. Host now spend more time disinfecting Airbnb properties by draining and cleaning outdoor spas, wiping down board game pieces and removing items that are harder to sanitize eg throws, decorative pillows and bedspreads.

“Before Covid 19, we were cleaning and dusting and calling it good. It never occurred to us that we had to kill pathogens, Now we can spend an extra 40 minutes wiping door knobs, light switches, remotes, cutlery and anything anyone would’ve touched in any way, It all has to be wiped down.”

Melinda is looking forward to normality once all borders domestically and internationally open up again.