Airbnb hosts share pandemic news from around the world

We continue to get updates from some of the Airbnb hosts who we’ve come to know since we started the retired budget travel lifestyle. The best news; none of the most recent respondents have any health issues related to the current worldwide pandemic. Not so good; the loss of rental income they all face.

As a reminder, back before Easter, we sent out a friendly and heartfelt greeting (including the excerpt below) to the dozens of hosts who provided us housing and information and friendship throughout our worldwide travels.

…We hope this note finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe.  The current world ‘shutdown’ has left us reflecting on our past travel adventures and the many wonderful Airbnb hosts that made it all possible.  We can’t help but wonder what life is like where you are now?…

I’ve previously posted some of the replies – including one reported illness. Indeed, we are glad to hear more healthy responses now.

Airbnb hosts share pandemic news

Our host at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, Steve, sent news and a photo of his growing family.

“There have been soldiers patrolling the village and since a week ago at least 25 people have been arrested here in town for breaking curfew.
As a family we are all well and looking after one another. Ella and I are now grandparents (2x). Everybody is happy and healthy, though living in close quarters.”

In Zihuatanejo, on the Pacific coast of Mexico, we rented an apartment in the family compound of Sandy and Vidal. They included the following info with their report of good health.

“The state government has closed the beaches and 99% of hotels are closed – in hopes to discourage tourists from flocking here.
Vidal and I have been taking this seriously since mid-March, preparing our home and stocking as much as we can (without going overboard/no hoarding!!).”

On the island of Corfu, Greece, we rented a converted attic studio in the home of Tina and Stan.

“We are all well living in quarantine since 15th of March and dreaming of better days. Corfu is deserted and thank God still not seriously touched by Covid 19.
The weather is getting bright but tourism seems to be a lost case for Greece for 2020!
Anyway let us hope that soon all this will be behind!”

We even have an update from KAZAKHSTAN! No, we were never in Kazakhstan. But the owners of the sea view Airbnb apartment we rented in Hua Hin, Thailand, do live there.

“We live still in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Our home town is in a lockdown and we have to be at home all the time. Currently it is very important to follow the quarantine rules in our city. It looks that everything has stopped but we hope that this invisible enemy that is called coronavirus will be defeated as soon as possible. Please stay safe.”

All of the above folks are “traditional” Airbnb hosts: they rent a single self-owned property. We know for a fact they have other jobs and income which hopefully will get them through this rough economic period.

The replies below are from more “professional” landlords. They are Airbnb hosts renting multiple units long-term, then subletting them to short-stay tourists to make a profit. Obviously, this business model is a problem when tourism stops.

From Porto, Portugal, our host Nieto wrote:

“In my case this situation is very bad. In February I opened another apartment to rent in airbnb. I only work in this and now I have my apartments without reservations. I really hope this situation will be solved as soon as possible else I don’t know what will do because I have many expenses but I don’t earn any salary.
The most important thing is our health, of course, but after this is solved I don’t know what will happen in the world.”

And in the cool, mountainous, Cameron Highlands of Malaysia, we rented from Vincent, who said:

“We are in lock down since March 18 and the new tourists are no more able to travel to Cameron Highlands.
Like you can imagine, the business is off, but thanks to God, one guest is staying in our apartment and that gives us a small income allowing us to survive and eat. There is no case of Covid-19 around us but the restrictions are the same every where in Malaysia.”

Not a good situation for those landlords and many others who have gone into the ‘Airbnb business’. Ironically, I read an article this week titled, “Is this the end of Airbnb”  https://www.wired.co.uk/article/airbnb-coronavirus-losses. It’s a really interesting and detailed look at exactly this current phenomenon.

Finally, incidentally, our next planned rental stay (mid-July) is in Penang, Malaysia. We’ve been there before and rented from Wendy and Sharon. They are successful, entrepreneurial women. They were even featured by Airbnb before the pandemic, as well as in an article in their local paper.

We don’t know any details of their business operations. But we sure hope we will be able to get there — and they will be able to accommodate us. Certainly, there is still a lot of uncertainty and angst for everyone due to the coronavirus.

As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails, & more beer.

Life is NOW!

Thanks for reading, “Airbnb hosts share pandemic news from around the world.”

Tedly or Ellen post something every day during their Philippine Quarantine. Check back every day new information and adventures!

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Airbnb hosts share pandemic news from around the world

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