Airbnb announced a new set of cleaning standards for hosts with the aim of reassuring guests once travel operations resume to normalcy as the company tries to reinvent itself in the middle of the coronavirus crisis – Airbnb’s online experiences, for instance, are likely to become a permanent product of the company.
The firm said in a statement that the protocol, which was devised with guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Ecolab, a global leader in cleaning and hygiene technologies and services, will offer guidance on the best practices for cleansing rooms. It will include a manual more than 40 pages long establishing the standards, as well as specifying particular chemicals and other products to do the job.
The Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, to be published in May, will also require a minimum 24 hours between rentals to reduce the chance a guest might encounter any residual particles.
If hosts are unable to commit to the Cleaning Protocol, they can alternatively opt into a new feature called Booking Buffer, to create a vacancy period between stays. Hosts can commit to keeping their home empty for a set period in between stays, with no activity other than cleaning. Reservations will be automatically blocked during that time frame, currently set at 72 hours.
“We have seen indications that hosts are committed to hosting and we think people will be eager to travel in the future. In a recent company survey, 92 percent of hosts around the world responded that they plan to host as often as before, or more often, once the pandemic is over”, said Airbnb in a statement.