COVID-19 UPDATE

Where to find information and protect yourself

The Number 1 thing you should do is:  Stay Informed

There are many websites that give information about the virus, but in Australia it’s better to get information from government websites, such as:

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

we also found a simplified explanation at:

https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/news/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-sars-queensland-australia-how-to-understand-protect-prevent-spread-symptoms-treatment?fbclid=IwAR3kpJ4O81L8ZElcfl6raQeF3vFSrHzZju0QgOlnEstcLshKCwmBP45FJdw

Keep an eye on the Government website regarding the Stimulus package and how this may be of benefit to you https://www.pm.gov.au/media/economic-stimulus-package

What are the Symptoms?

These include fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

How can you help manage it?

Although it seems pretty obvious, practising good hygiene to protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading, is the simplest way.  

Sneezing or coughing into your elbow.

Throwing used tissues into the bin.

Thoroughly washing your hands with soap.

Cleaning surfaces.

Maintaining a safe distance (1.5m-2m recommended) from people with coughs or sneezes.

Resource Maps

What you can do to help protect your business

All accommodation businesses are going to be hit hard by the lack of travellers over the coming weeks. A few simple things to do now include:

Planning ahead

Check stock levels with suppliers to ensure you do not run out of essentials. Do not over order but be aware there may be delays in the supply chain.

Take precautions now

Continue to use alcohol based cleaning products and Glen 20 spray or similar.  Double wipe surfaces, remote controls, devices, table tops, communal areas etc and let your guests know you are going the extra mile for their safety.

Think about how you are promoting your property

Being regional puts us at a possible advantage.  Advertise your outdoor places of interest, sites, walks, etc. Attractions people can visit without feeling overcrowded. 

How is Budget Marketing Your Property?

We are regularly communicating with guests and keeping them informed of our cleaning standards.

We are promoting guests to visit your property in regional Australia.

Keeping guests informed about the benefits of Booking Direct instead of OTA’s.

Reminding guests that we are keeping their safety as our priority.

Regularly promoting Budget Motel Chain to keep our brand top of mind during this period.

Most importantly, we are spreading the Aussie Spirit of staying together and helping each other.

COVID-19 and Refunds

Where do I stand?

People are now stocking up on toilet paper and pasta, and we’re not allowed to have gatherings of more than 500 people…

Everything is being affected; AFL, NRL & NBL games being played without crowds, F1 races and local sporting events being cancelled, cruise lines stopping sailings, travellers having to self-isolate for 14 days on return to Australia and more and more people are cancelling bookings in fear of the Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) COVID-19.

So, what are others doing with cancellation?

OTAs:

Most OTAs are adhering to the cancellation policies of individual accommodation providers, so it will vary depending on each property’s policies.
There have been reports that some OTAs have been calling properties trying to ‘force’ them to give full refunds and waive any fees.
On AGODA’s Facebook page they have a lot of comments about refunds and many AGODA’s responses start with; “Unfortunately we can’t…..”

AirBnB:

As the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, AirBnB made the decision on Saturday 14th March to put in place a global policy allowing all guests to cancel eligible reservations for a full refund – including all Airbnb fees. AirBnb know that decision caused incredible hardship for many of their hosts. Many hosts were already accepting cancellations outside of established policies.

Hotel Chains:

Major hotel chains are offering refunds, or allowing bookings to be modified to a later date, and waiving any fees.

There does seem to be a 24 hour, no-refund policy in place with several of them.

Others are allowing guests to only change the dates of their booking and not refunding.

I’ve had a cancellation… What should I do?

There are a lot of opinions when it comes to refunds, and why you should or shouldn’t refund guests, and I’m sure you’ve already heard a few of them.

Regardless of what you’re told, you are in control of your own refund policies, so it’s up to your discretion.

But please do remember that these are extenuating circumstances, and guests are just as worried as you are about their cashflow.