SYDNEY, Australia – Tuesday, May 26, 2020 – Today, StayzⓇ, Australia’s holiday rental expert announced two new initiatives for families to find holiday homes, so that when they are ready to travel again, they can easily find accommodations that meet their needs for cleanliness and flexible cancellations and inspire their confidence to travel. More than 50% of Australians want to travel domestically when restrictions lift (1), and with over 50,000 properties across Australia, Stayz has holiday homes for every family getaway.
“Stayz has been connecting families with private, whole homes for nearly 20 years in Australia, and the advent of COVID-19 has led to new traveller needs – when planning their next trip, our family travellers want the flexibility to change or cancel plans and information about a property’s cleaning practices in order to feel comfortable enough to travel again,” said Stayz Regional Director Ross McDonald.
“We’re adding the tools quickly to meet the new needs families have when they are choosing a place to stay, as well as the features and systems our homeowners and property managers now need to clearly communicate their policies and standards with future guests. Transparency between travellers and homeowners about expectations, policies and protocols is more important than ever."
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2) has reported that in early April, 68% of people were concerned or very concerned about their personal health due to the spread of COVID-19, and almost all have taken at least one health precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cleanliness has always been a key component of quality standards and property reviews on Stayz’s platform, and the new guidelines provide even clearer guidance for homeowners and property managers. Stayz’s new guidelines combine information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and Cristal International Standards (part of international certification and training company Intertek Group) and have been reviewed by an expert from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The cleanliness guidelines were developed to ensure homeowners, property managers, and travellers receive aligned, clear cleanliness recommendations. The additional recommended cleaning measures include the disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, allocating time between bookings to avoid back-to-back stays, and stocking antibacterial handwashes, cleaners and hand sanitizers for guests.
Stayz is also adding a feature which allows enhanced safety practices to be communicated by partners on their property description pages so travellers can choose and book homes that meet their expectations. Homeowners and property managers will be able to report if the property is being cleaned with disinfectant, if guests can check in and out without any person-to-person contact, and whether the property is unavailable for at least 24 hours between guests. These important facts will be visible from late May, as the information is provided by property owners.
Flexible Cancellation Search Filter
With 91% of the world’s population now living in countries or territories that are subjected to travel restrictions (3), flexible cancellation policies are top of mind for travellers when booking their next holiday.
Families looking for properties with flexible cancellation policies will be able to use Stayz search filters to find holiday homes that provide a full refund when cancelling by a specific date. Stayz will also highlight listings with the most flexible cancellation policies, making it easier for families to find holiday homes that offer free cancellation closer to their check-in date.
“We want our travellers to feel confident about travelling again and are developing tools and features that meet their needs for flexibility and choice. As a two-sided marketplace, we are also listening to the needs of our homeowners and property managers across Australia and have made it easy for them to update their cancellation policies,” said McDonald. “With travel restrictions lifting, it is the perfect time to introduce our new Stayz initiatives and we look forward to welcoming Aussies for their road trip getaway."
1. University of Queensland survey of 528 Australians on domestic tourism post COVID-19 restrictions
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics study of Household Impacts of COVID-19, 1 - April 2020
3. Pew Research Center analysis of border closure announcements and United Nations population data, 1 April 2020.
About Stayz Stayz, Australia’s original holiday rental website, is powered by the world class technology of HomeAway and is part of Expedia Group. The company’s mission is to connect travellers with the people and places they love. Stayz has more than 50,000 properties across Australia, and now over two million properties internationally available for rent. For more information about Stayz please visit www.stayz.com.au.
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