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    Help test a new cancellation policy for longer stays

    Appeal to more guests by removing a big barrier to longer bookings.
    By Airbnb on 24 Nov 2021
    3 min read
    Updated 24 Nov 2021

    Highlights

    • You’re invited to test an extended grace period for cancellations to help guests book longer stays with confidence

    • Some Hosts who adopted a similar policy for shorter stays got more bookings***

    • Be among the first Hosts to try this new policy

    Cancellation policies can influence where travellers choose to stay. Our research shows that one in 4 people who searched for longer stays on Airbnb but ended up booking elsewhere did so because they want more flexible rules. That’s a lot of missed opportunities for Hosts. So we’ve come up with a new cancellation policy that’s more flexible for guests while still protecting Hosts – and we’re inviting you to try it.

    What the existing policy requires

    Right now, the long-term cancellation policy automatically applies to all stays of 28 consecutive nights or more, even if you have a different standard cancellation policy for shorter bookings.

    Under the current long-term cancellation policy, guests who cancel a longer stay get a full refund only if:

    1. They cancel their reservation within 48 hours of booking, and
    2. They cancel at least 28 days before their check-in date

    Otherwise, the guest pays for the first 30 nights (or the remainder of their booking, whichever time period is shorter), plus the service fee and any cleaning fee.*

    Nearly 20% of nights booked on Airbnb in April, May, and June 2021 were for longer stays, up from 13% in the same period of 2019.**

    Why we’re testing a longer grace period

    Imagine you’re a soon-to-be college grad who decides in April to book a month-long stay overseas in October, but you anticipate getting a full-time job in June, which could delay the trip. Though you would cancel months ahead of check-in, leaving time for the Host to potentially accept new reservations, the current policy would deny you a full refund because more than 48 hours had passed since booking. After reviewing the rules, you book a longer stay outside of Airbnb where there's a more flexible policy.

    Given guests’ growing interest in longer stays, we’ve come up with a more flexible policy to help Hosts avoid this and other types of missed opportunities.

    The new long-term cancellation policy that you can help test is designed to help you entice more guests who want to book your place for 28 nights or more. These longer stays can lead to steadier income, fewer turnovers, and less work for you.

    We recently introduced a similar short-term stay policy called firm cancellation. Hosts who opted into the test saw up to a 9% overall increase in bookings and up to a 20% increase in long-lead bookings for listings that had this policy.*** A long-lead booking is a reservation that’s made more than 30 days ahead of check-in.

    Under the new policy, guests who cancel a longer stay get a full refund if they do so at least 30 days before their check-in date, leaving enough time for Hosts to potentially accept new reservations. Guests who cancel later than that pay for the first 30 nights (or the remainder or their booking, whichever time period is shorter), plus the cleaning and service fees.

    How you can help test this policy update

    You’re invited to be among the first Hosts to offer the longer grace period. To opt in, simply go to your listing settings and select Flexible as your Long-term cancellation policy.

    Here’s how the test works: We’ll show half of your potential long-term guests the current cancellation policy and the other half the test cancellation policy. After they book, you’ll be able to see which cancellation policy applies to each reservation. The test affects only new bookings of 28 nights or longer. You can opt out of the test at any time for future bookings, but you must honour the terms of any reservations made under the test policy.

    The goal of the test is to confirm our research that offering a more flexible cancellation policy gives guests greater confidence in planning longer stays and increases Host bookings.

    *Excluding Hosts who offer accommodations in mainland China. Find out more

    **According to an Airbnb Report on Travel & Living as of 30 April 2021. Bookings are defined as total nights booked before cancellations or alterations.

    ***According to an Airbnb study (12/2020–4/2021) of Hosts who switched from strict to firm cancellation.

    Highlights

    • You’re invited to test an extended grace period for cancellations to help guests book longer stays with confidence

    • Some Hosts who adopted a similar policy for shorter stays got more bookings***

    • Be among the first Hosts to try this new policy

    Airbnb
    24 Nov 2021
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