Pandemic has generated many changes in travel need and habits. Many American consumers are concerned about rising prices, but some higher costs are resulting in more money flowing directly to those who need it.
Cleaning fees at Airbnb listings are one example. Per-trip cleaning fees, which are set by Hosts, at Airbnb listings have increased by about $25 over the past two years – influenced by Covid-19 pandemic-driven changes in traveler behaviors, needs and preferences. The desire to gather safely with friends and family has resulted in larger groups traveling and seeking larger accommodations that cost more to clean.
The pandemic brought the realization of increased cleaning needs but also that cleaning is a key aspect of our success as Airbnb Hosts. The cleaner is the one who sets the stage for our guests, makes them feel safe and secure, provides atmosphere, and the care that goes into this work is not a commodity, which is why we decided to increase our cleaning fees and the payment to our cleaner, neither of which will be reduced moving forward.Durham, North Carolina-based Airbnb Hosts Robert and Ilze
While the increase in cleaning fees has outpaced the overall rate of inflation by almost 40 percent to 6 percent, with the increase, travel on Airbnb within the US generated $830 million for house cleaners from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.This increase in cleaning fees is a direct flow of money from Airbnb’s more well-off guests, to and through our often middle-class Hosts. Rural areas are one of the main destination substituting the big international cities. The distribution of the cleaning fees also represents a flow of money from primarily bigger cities into less urban and more rural areas.
Most Airbnb guests in the US hail from urban areas, and travel to rural states (i.e., nights stayed) has grown the fastest recently as shut-in city dwellers have sought to vacation in smaller towns and more remote areas. States that have seen the highest growth in travel activity include Arkansas, South Dakota, and West Virginia.