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Airbnb Hosts: 3 You Can Do to Reassure Travelers Right Now (Infographic) Data shows people are starting to travel again. Here's what short-term rental hosts need to know about their behavior.

By Jessica Thomas Edited by Frances Dodds

SOPA Images | Getty Images

Summer 2020 undeniably looks different than people would've predicted at the beginning of the year: Weddings and family reunions have been postponed, and long-awaited vacations have been cancelled. Much has been written about the global health crisis' short- and long-term impact on the travel, hospitality and short-term rental industries.

However, despite the depressing headlines, there are indications that people are starting to feel more comfortable traveling. According to data provided by short-term rental booking software Guesty, bookings in the U.S. increased 28 percent from May to June of this year.

Related: Airbnb CEO: It Took Us 12 Years to Build, and We Lost Almost Everything in 6 Weeks

Guesty's data provides many valuable insights into traveler behavior right now. For example, remote rentals driving distance from large metropolitan hubs are seeing success despite the overall market slump, and Colorado is the fastest-growing U.S. state in terms of rental volume, likely because of its abundant outdoor activities.

Related: What Does the Crisis Mean for the Sharing Economy?

These and more insights are outlined in the infographic below. But if you're a short-term rental host, here are the three things you should be doing right now to reassure travelers.

1. Allow extended stays

New Yorkers made national headlines for fleeing the city for second homes or rentals in the suburbs or on Long Island. Though case numbers in the tri-state area are down, people in large cities are still looking to escape now that it's summer. If you haven't already, consider offering booking windows greater than 28 days, and offer an extended stay discount if you can.

2. Rethink your marketing

Did you previously market your Airbnb's proximity to shops, restaurants and bars? Consider changing your tune. Short-term rentals have now found success by highlighting their stringent cleaning protocols, fast WiFi, remote locations away from other people and access to open attractions like national parks.

3. Offer flexible cancellation

As a host, the last thing you want is for a sick person to come stay in your property. If you haven't already, consider updating your cancellation policies. No one can predict how the virus will spread or how states will change their restrictions. Offering flexible cancellation means people feel safe booking your property, and even if they wind up cancelling, they'll be more likely to rebook in the future if they have a good experience with you.

Related: Required Masks, 'Peace of Mind Commitments' and Temperature Checks: What to Expect When Traveling This Summer

Read on for more Guesty data about short-term rentals.

Jessica Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Digital Content Director

Jessica Thomas is the senior digital content director at Entrepreneur. Prior to this role, she spent nearly five years on staff at Worth magazine and was a staff writer for Bustle. 

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