by MARIANA LÓPEZ
Contxto – Airbnb is closing its digital doors in the face of quarantines and coronavirus (Covid-19) in Mexico. Last Monday (13) the news broke that it would no longer allow users to book residences on its platform in Mexico until April 30. There is an exception to this of course.
Medical personnel that are fighting Covid-19 will be allowed to use the startup’s marketplace.
Airbnb welcomes hosts that fulfill its safety and sanitation requirements to offer their properties to these doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. To learn more about these standards, check out this page.
Likewise, the travel startup won’t charge its usual fee for the first 100,000 bookings made through this unique program throughout the world.As a result, the travel startup is complying with the Mexican government’s order to suspend all non-essential activities.
A tourism boom to (eventually) come
Ah, “poor” Airbnb. It’s the poster child of a continually delayed IPO, only upstaged by WeWork’s woes.
In any case, news continues to emerge on how the travel industry is being devastated by the global pandemic. Undoubtedly it’s facing dark days. And it will drag on at least throughout all of 2020 and even into the first half of 2021.
Analysts from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimate that the average recovery time for visitor numbers to a destination after a major viral epidemic is 19 months. However, these numbers were reported earlier this year in January—before the pandemic became the monstrosity that it is now.
Either way, even after recovering, the industry shan’t ever be the same. Wanderlust will live on. However, travelers may be wearier of infections, sanitary conditions, and physical contact in general.
Correspondingly, Airbnb hosts will not only offer basic toiletries to their guests but items like hand sanitizer and face masks.
There’s much talk of an eventual post-pandemic “baby boom.” And while that’s still up for debate, I’d say it’s more likely there will be a tourism boom. The angst of lockdown is probably leaving millions of people eager to plan their future trips, like yours truly.
However, tourism and travel are changing in ways we can only begin to grasp.
And it won’t ever be the same.
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