The prevailing themes for the travel industry in 2020 has been, and will end up being, safety, survival, and recovery. For so many in the industry, the coronavirus has spelled doom and disaster, both for its widespread human cost and for its damage to the foundation of tourism. For some, the product they offer actually fits into the aforementioned themes.
Airbnb for instance, by virtue of its service, kept the guest a little bit safer by adding a personal touch to the stay – complemented by hand sanitizer, of course. As travel restrictions tightened, the flexibility of Airbnb also added some ease to the nerves of the local traveler. Rounding out the benefits, Airbnb put a generous foot forward by relaxing its refund policies, despite suffering losses of approximately 50% of its total revenue.
Moreover, Airbnb has been growing in popularity since its inception in 2008. The brainchild of Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Joe Gebbia, Airbnb evolved from an idea to a 31 billion dollar company. They had planned on seeing the company traded publicly on the Stock Market, but the coronavirus dampened those plans, temporarily. In fact, Airbnb has already filed their IPO (initial public offering), sticking to their plans of trying to make it public in 2020.
For travelers, especially during this tenuous era where the very air and unclean surfaces can lead to hospitalization or worse, the individualized attention one might find renting from an Airbnb-type property rather than a monstrous hotel brand can bring some solace to travelers of every level of germaphobe. Besides the cleanliness factor, vacation rentals often give the traveler more space for less money overall. In addition, the vacation rentals often offer kitchens and washer/dryers, and although one might not want to cook or do laundry while on vacation, the convenience factor is substantial. Finally, in a world where high speed wifi is as important as hot water and indoor plumbing, vacation rentals frequently have stronger and more reliable wifi.
On the flipside, if one owns an Airbnb, the profits can be sizable. According to priceonomics.com, the average monthly income from an Airbnb property is $924. However, some owners are moving away from the traditional Airbnb format and branching out a bit more on their own. Owners who wish to remain part of a huge network might try booking.com, which charges 15% commission on rentals, or perhaps homeaway.com, which has a yearly or a per-booking fee. Flipkey.com allows owners to rent out any type of accommodation from castles to houseboats, offers free listing and charges only 3% commission.
However, when the time comes