Part of what helped COVID-19 spread as vastly as it did was international travel. From one major city to another, infected people unknowingly spread the virus, resulting in the current pandemic the world is facing today. And even if we've reached that point that we can finally go back out again, there's likely to be a huge loss on the international travel front. This, in turn, will likely lead to more domestic travel and the rental market may just a surge in local inquiries. Instead of mostly catering to international visitors, a good majority of the market's future customers might just be people from the same country or even city.
Expect face masks to be the hottest accessory for the next couple of years. And the most frequent pastime? Washing your hands! With COVID-19 taking the whole world by surprise, these simple yet effective ways of stopping its spread will likely become the new normal. In fact, even luxury brands, many of which earned their billions in revenue for selling clothes, accessories, and perfumes, are now selling facemasks as well. In terms of the rental community, expect accommodations to either supply or require facemasks and instil rules such as always washing your hands. There might also be a new limit to how many guests one accommodation is allowed to welcome.
Before, accommodations may welcome just about anybody from anywhere. But after COVID-19? This also might change. The rental community will see restrictions to and from certain areas, particularly the hardest-hit cities during this pandemic. And it doesn't help that a good number of them are tourist-heavy cities such as New York, Milan, Madrid and more. Even now, most of the rental markets within these places have relatively and effectively halted. And once countries have lifted bans, a lot of people might still be apprehensive in going here. In the same vein, other places might also restrict the number of travellers coming from these areas into their own cities.
As the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise, we saw a lot of cancellations. From the millions of international flights that operate daily to major events. The pandemic really put a halt in people's daily, monthly, and annual traditions and this might continue even when the countries have started operating normally again. As expected, the rental market saw a surge in cancellations due to the pandemic. And because no one had foreseen such a phenomenon, many were unable to cope with it. Now, however, when rental businesses operate again, they'll probably feature more lax cancellation policies to make the process simpler and easier.
As for the accommodations themselves, they'll likely have to meet new standards of hospitality and cleanliness. What might have been the normal practice of welcoming your guests yourself and showing them around, it might be better to just let them in and lessen your physical contact with them for now. Communication online will definitely be increased and might just take over the entire process as well. And for cleanliness, it's going to be a two-way streak. Guests will require their accommodations to be clean and germ-free without any possibility of catching any disease during their stay here. But at the same time, hosts will trust that their guests will keep themselves and the accommodation tidy throughout their stay.
For now, the COVID-19 pandemic might have halted the usual operations of the rental market but it won't stay down forever. And when everything comes back up again, expect the industry to have to get used to some major changes!