Tech UPTechnologyThis is how Airbnb is dealing with the coronavirus

This is how Airbnb is dealing with the coronavirus

Tourism is one of the sectors that is recovering the most from the global coronavirus crisis. Flights are being banned, the entry of cruise ships and multiple reservations in hotels and tourist accommodation are being canceled. The World Tourism Organization estimates that there will be losses of between 30,000 to 50,000 million dollars worldwide for this year due to the pandemic.

But how is one of the largest companies in this sector positioning itself? What steps is the platform taking that has changed the way many people travel? Airbnb has enabled a section on its page to answer all questions about the situations caused by the spread of the virus.

“Given the health and safety risks involved, we ask all hosts and guests to consult the health recommendations and preventive measures for travelers that have been published by the authorities of their country in this regard, in addition to the advice of the WHO of international application. We strongly urge our community to take the necessary precautions to protect itself, either as a host or as a guest, ”they say.

The general policy of the US company is that it is making it easy for reservations that meet certain requirements to be canceled free of charge . “We ask the entire community to show understanding if hosts and guests have to cancel their reservations,” they claim.

Airbnb will make a refund or cancellation without charge in the following cases:

  • Guests traveling to or from severely affected areas.
  • Hosts who are going to receive guests from severely affected areas or who offer accommodation in those places.
  • Anyone who cannot make their trip due to official travel restrictions, medical or health control tasks, cancellation of air or ground transportation by the provider due to COVID-19, or suspected or confirmed cases of COVID -19.

If a reservation is canceled due to what Airbnb has called its “Force Majeure Policy”, the guest will get a full refund , including any fees that have been applied. Additionally, hosts are not required to pay fees of any kind. Normally when there is a cancellation the platform does not allow accepting new reservations for those dates, but in these exceptional situations it will be possible.

Finally, the SuperHost category, which is the one owned by the service hosts with the best reviews and the best response time, will not be affected by these overrides. Those who owned it will not have any penalty in this regard.

Spain is not included

What are the “severely affected areas” mentioned by the US company? At the time of publishing this article, Airbnb has only included mainland China, Italy and South Korea as risk countries. For now, Spain is not on the list, so the Force Majeure Policy would not apply to accommodation reservations in Spain or to Spaniards. However, this may change in the next few hours.

Both hosts and guests of the service can check the latest company comments on this page, which will be constantly updated.

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