These days the news and our mailboxes are full of information about COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus or Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which continues to increase the number of infected worldwide. Yesterday, on March 11, the WHO declared a pandemic. Currently, La Vanguardia informs us of 2,700 cases of contagion and 64 deaths in Spain.
You vacation rental owners will wonder what this means for my business? Below you will find answers to some of the questions that may arise about how the current situation may affect short-term rental and some advice on how to act or what your rights as landlords are.
Currently among the risk areas are: Mainland China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Iran and Italy (Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont regions). The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and feeling short of breath. The most serious cases, generally occur in elderly people or those who suffer from other diseases such as heart, lung or immunity problems. Transmission is considered to be through contact with infected animals or through close contact with respiratory secretions generated by a sick person’s cough or sneeze.
The tourism sector has been hit hard by this crisis. The airlines cancel flights and routes, even some of them like the British Flybe have had to declare bankruptcy. Most airlines are experiencing cancellations or modifications to their routes, they are also making their modification and cancellation conditions more flexible, as are accommodation booking portals, such as Airbnb, Expedia, Booking.com, among others.
Said flexible cancellation policy implies that, if the reservation meets the conditions established by the reservation portal, it can be automatically canceled by the same portal at the request of the traveler, refunding the total amount paid without any charge. If the guest contacts you to cancel your reservation, ask the traveler to contact the portal’s customer service.
Each portal establishes its own conditions that we have tried to collect here:
- made from mainland Chinese websites, applicable to any international destination;
- made from anywhere in the world in establishments in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.
- All check-in dates through February 29, 2020.
- Guests traveling to or from severely affected areas;
- Hosts hosting or receiving guests from severely affected areas;
- Any person who is unable to complete their trip due to official travel restrictions, medical or disease control tasks, flight cancellation or ground transportation initiated by the provider due to COVID-19, or suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- Dates: March-April
- All reservations made for properties in or by travelers from Italy with a registration date of April 3, 2020 or earlier.
- All reservations made for properties in or by travelers from one of the following locations in South Korea: Daegu and Cheongdo County, with a registration date of March 31, 2020 or earlier.
- All reservations made for properties in or by Mainland Chinese travelers with a check in date of March 31, 2020 or earlier.
- Reservations made by travelers who have been in an area affected by Coronavirus and have subsequently beenprohibited from entering the country they intended to travel to (entry bans, mandatory quarantine upon arrival, mandatory quarantine upon return home, or suspension of arrival visas).
For reservations coming from other portals, we recommend that, before making any decision about cancellations, review the recommendations and travel restrictions of the local authorities. If you want to cancel upcoming reservations, please contact travelers as soon as possible. This will not affect your ranking metrics. You should cancel, refund the reservation and call customer service as soon as possible.
As for the impact that the virus has had so far in Andalusia, it should be noted that special measures will be taken for the Costa del Sol, where almost 70% of cases accumulate. Regarding the issue of Holy Week, the Andalusian Government has not yet proposed any measure, but recalls that the priority will be the “health of the Andalusian population”.
For the most up-to-date information, we recommend that you follow the World Health Organization. We recognize that many people are coming together to protectthe travelers´ health and security. We thank you for supporting this collective effort.
Our customer service agents are always ready to help you with your listing or your upcoming reservations.
Citizen care government telephone numbers:
900 400 061