With the travel industry hit hardest by the Coronavirus global pandemic, we’ve seen a massive shift in the reasons for people booking with our luxury home hotel service, with further changes expected over the coming months.
The impact of Coronavirus has been unprecedented and now more than ever we need to come together to support local business and – for those of us in a position to – book and purchase vouchers for experiences to be had in the future, keeping businesses and hope alive!
I’ve seen tattoo shops offering vouchers for future work, flexibility with travel bookings, people buying food vouchers for others in need. Everyone needs to come together at this time.
For many in the travel industry, the effects will be devastating. We are doing what we can to support our clients and staff through this uncertain period.
In the early stages of the pandemic, we saw travellers flying in from overseas to rent remote luxury properties complete with their own heli-pad to fly into, planning to bunker down for months.
However, with border closures happening, we’ve seen the market shift again.
Here are 3 of the most surprising responses we’ve seen (and had) to Covid-19:
1. Luxury self-isolation
Before people were confined to their homes, we saw a spike in travellers looking for luxury isolation options in rural locations to wait out the pandemic. Being high-risk myself, our family are staying in a Luxico property with a pool and all the bells and whistles.
2. Locking it in before lockdown
Aussies who have made a mad dash back to the country from overseas travel have been seeking longer-term accommodation stays in fully-furnished properties.
As an official partner of AirBnb, our average stays are usually a few weeks with working travellers, however last year we saw increasing demand for longer-term furnished rentals as people renovated homes or claimed their stays on insurance while escaping fire/flood and other damaged homes.
3. Travel companies asking customers NOT to stay with them
Being ‘high risk’ I’m particularly sensitive to the potential for people to travel unnecessarily. This is why we have contacted all our upcoming guests to ask them NOT to stay with us over the coming months, unless their travel is essential. To provide guests with greater flexibility, we have updated our Flexible Booking Policy to allow:
– All Australian guests due to check in before 30 June 2020 may cancel their booking in exchange for a full credit note (valid for 18 months) – no questions asked
– All overseas guests due to check in before 30 September 2020 may cancel their booking in exchange for a full credit note or refund – no questions asked
– Any guests checking in after the above dates will be offered credit/refund if affected by COVID-19 per our terms
We ask our valued customers to stay home now and take advantage of the great offers and added booking flexibility currently available for booking stays later this year (or next year) so you have something to look forward to and plan whilst stuck at home. There’s never been a better time to book your summer holiday with so many great deals on offer and added booking flexibility.
In addition to asking guests not to travelwe’ve been working on ways that we can help others within our network. One of the initiatives we are rolling out is offering some of our available homes in Melbourne and Sydney at no cost to medical workers and those on the frontline who need to quarantine from their families.
If any medical workers are seeking accommodation, they can reach out through our website. Stay safe, avoid travel and stay optimistic about the future!
Alexandra Ormerod is a co-founder and CEO of Luxico.