Depending on the market the right answer is yes, it is not only possible but necessary.
Are there potential risks for the summer? Yes, there are high risks, not only for people but also for the economy. A balance needs to be found.
I honestly believe that if security measures are taken, people will enjoy vacations not only as leisure but also as therapy.
After 5 weeks locked down in Europe and almost 3 weeks in the US, there have been many analysis and predictions from professionals, but let us remember the main ones:
- Nothing will be as it was before
- Vacation rental sector needs to change and evolve
- Business will not recover within a year
- Some segments of the sector will have reduced occupation most of the year, but definitively booked summer holidays
- Urban PMs need to transform their business and introduce themselves to new business niches
Now that the first wave has passed, we see how wrong the apocalyptic visionaries were in their predictions. Also, those deniers that thought this was going to just be a lock-down period with no consequences.
I am gratefully surprised by the enormous number of people that have contributed to getting through this situation. I have always seen tourism as one of the biggest sources of options and imagination. Almost anything is possible in tourism, and one way or another, you can always get through things.
More and more we can see how those who prepared for the summer and worked hard are now well-positioned to make sales and occupy their properties.
This may not look like previous years, but in today’s climate, more than 40% occupancy for the summer may be a glorious victory. Many companies really depend on this season to hold them over until next season.
If you missed a couple of articles about how to prepare, here is a shortlist of recommendations to get ready while you still have time:
- Price adjustment to local tourism (there will not be International Tourism, and if there is, it will be limited).
- Flexible Cancellation Policy.
- Raise the minimum stay to one week. It is very likely that bookings may go to 15-days minimum.
- Offer a catalog of new services and increase your customer´s experience by offering delivery options.
- Change your cleaning policy and protocols to generate trust among guests.
- Offer various check-in options such as unattended, key delivery, or key pickup in a safe place.
- Always offer bonuses or compensation options if the authorities decide to prohibit Vacation Rentals again.
There are surely more recommendations, and we accept suggestions so that we can build the list together with the VR community.
If for whatever reason, at the start of summer things go wrong and you cannot host any tourists, you would have made it halfway to recovery and probably have a calendar already committed for next season.
You need to stay positive and believe that we will certainly be open for next season. If the majority of the people think this way, it will happen. If most professionals do not prepare and offer their properties now, there will not be any demand.
It is time to push together and create the scenario to see our businesses running positively next summer. More and more the authorities will consider this option because you cannot have families locked down indefinitely and allow businesses to die.
The US economy is already pushing hard to open beaches and businesses, so we will see the results in the short-term, mid-term and long-term.
For instance, in Europe, there will be a window that will allow most of the local travelers to take a break and relax for 15 to 30 days.
Things will not happen if you are not ready for them to happen, so set up your website and start promoting your properties. As bookings start coming in slowly, perhaps by the end of may you can have 40% to 50% occupancy committed.