Short-term rental companies expect to continue with Covid health and safety measures despite almost all restrictions being lifted last month.
A survey by the UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) found the majority of its members are taking a “cautious and responsible approach” to the pandemic.
In a poll conducted on July 27, every STAA member said they would continue with enhanced cleaning protocols; around two-thirds said staff would keep wearing masks; and more than half would continue with online check-ins and providing free hand sanitiser.
Around a third of the companies polled will keep social distances measures in place.
STAA members include Airbnb, One Fine Stay and Vrbo.
In terms of guest behaviour, the survey revealed that a third of companies had found that “many of their guests” were now not observing previous Covid-19 protocols, but a fifth said that only “a few” were not observing the Covid practices.
A third of STAA members involved in the survey said “vast majority” of their guests were still observing Covid-19 protocols.
A voucher scheme – similar to the government’s Eat Out To Help Out initiative – to encourage UK bookings; ease restrictions on inbound travel to the UK; and providing confidence to customers about possible future restrictions were three suggestions made by some STAA members to help business going forward.
Merilee Karr (pictured), chair of the STAA and UnderTheDoormat chief executive, said: “Having implemented new standards across the industry there was a sense that many of the procedures and protocols that have been put in place would remain even once we are free from restrictions.
“It’s encouraging to see what our members have chosen to continue with and shows that they are taking a cautious and responsible approach whilst we learn to live with Covid-19, while balancing procedures with high quality guest experiences for customers.”
Karr added that enhanced cleaning protocols were “a really good example of the professionalism” within the short-term rental sector.
“With the end of restrictions, we can now look forward to a return to growth where guests’ preferences for self-contained properties for holidays and business travel can be met with a wide choice of high standard accommodation,” she said.