AirBnB Hit Hard By COVID Cancellations

Tiny remote cabins, cozy cottages overlooking sun-speckled lakes and historical mid-century houses designed for the ultimate guest experience — Mic…

Tiny remote cabins, cozy cottages overlooking sun-speckled lakes and historical mid-century houses designed for the ultimate guest experience — Michigan Airbnbs are as unique as they are intimate.

Given the devastating impact of the coronavirus and reports of hiccups in communication, Airbnb is working to reengage both wary Michigan travelers and struggling hosts.

Northern Michigan, it turns out, has seen especially strong growth in Airbnb bookings during the summer months. Whether it’s restlessness or a desire to return to familiarity, Airbnb reports that, “Between May 17 and June 6, 2020, there were more nights booked for travel to Airbnb listings in the U.S. than during the same time period in 2019.”

However, not everyone reaped the benefits from that statement, such as superhost Chris Zehnder of Frankenmuth.

“All guests in March, April, May and early June canceled because of COVID,” he said.

Zehnder had plenty of close company in his disappointment. The entire tourism industry in Frankenmuth was heavily impacted during what is typically an economically prosperous time in the region.

Zehnder, like many Airbnb hosts, is working toward solutions. By adhering to new policies like Airbnb’s Enhanced Cleaning Protocol, in which new practices of sanitation and cleanliness are put into place, travelers may feel more confident to return.

Some uncertainty hangs in the air, but there are notes of optimism. The charm of cities like Frankenmuth, time and continued mitigation of COVID-19 should contribute to the rebound of the economy and the livelihood of Airbnb hosts across the state and the country.

“People are excited to get back out into the public again,” Zehnder said.


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