Vrbo creates new cleanliness guidelines and search filters

US: In response to travellers’ increased hygiene standards, Vrbo has introduced new cleanliness guidelines for its properties.

The group hopes to support future customers worried about the impact of Covid-19 on a vacation.

This new policy is informed by a combination of data from the CDC, WHO and hotelier risk management firm Cristal International Standards. The combination was then reviewed by infectious disease expert Dr. Daniel Lucey from the Infectious Diseases Society of America before being introduced to the Vrbo platform.

Property owners will be able to find clear, concise information on disinfecting high-touch surfaces, building in time between bookings to avoid back-to-back stays, and stocking antibacterial handwashes, cleaners and hand sanitisers for guests. The company will also add additional descriptors for properties based on recency of sanitation, letting visitors know about disinfecting schedules, remote check-in, and rest periods between bookings.

Vrbo president Jeff Hurst said in an interview with Forbes: “We know that when families decide they’re ready to travel again, they’re going to have new priorities when choosing a place to stay. Vacation homes already have the space and privacy away from crowds we know they’ll want, but there are other things we need to highlight for them, including cleanliness, flexibility, and places to stay close to home.”

Vrbo hopes that these new standards will be able to create a new standard within the industry as a whole. The group was named a key part of the US Travel Association task force with developing future guidelines and has worked to help create the VRMA’s updated rules.

Other competitors within the industry are introducing newer cleanliness measures. Airbnb and Booking.com have both introduced new measures to help hosts and owners manage the cleanliness of their properties going forward.

The company is also planning to introduce proximity and flexibility filters on properties. This is driven by internal data claiming 75 per cent of travellers would choose accommodation based on flexible cancellation policy.