The outbreak of COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on the world economy, and while affecting all sectors of the global economy, it is hitting the hotel, leisure, retail and travel industries particularly hard.
Across all countries, including North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the rest of the world, the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry can be distinctly observed. The figures are just astounding. Never before has the hospitality and travel sector experienced anything like that shut down. The COVID-19 affecting lenders, investors, owners, operators, employees and the sector’s supply chain as well as in adjacent sectors, like the events industry.
What will recovery look like?
The truth is the pandemic is temporary and shall pass. Thus, the industry is continuing to plan for the future, as well as taking steps to reduce long-term damage from coronavirus and drive faster recovery.
Technology is the Key
For today, remote working is the standard. Even a people-centered industry such as that of hospitality experiences a rise in telecommuting, thanks to innovations and technology. In fact, the hoteliers are trying to manage all the processes of hotels without even being there. Cloud-based Property Management Systems enable them to control all operations from anywhere at any time.
Certainly, property management system (PMS) is not a new phenomenon. It has been used by hoteliers for years. But the program is offering even greater benefits in these days. For example, if the device goes with mobile concierge apps, it will help to communicate with the guests without physical interaction, starting from check-in to meal and service orders.
With technology, hoteliers are moving those hotel jobs to remote work, such as positions related to sales or business development, e- Commerce, digital marketing etc.
The Millennial Mode
After the coronavirus ends, millennials are the most willing to get back out and explore the globe. Of course they are worried about the COVID-19 pandemic outcome. Yet, they’re more optimistic and desirous of unique experiences. As of now, they are taking advantage of the crazy low prices showing no fear of the virus.
What’s more, millennials are expected to be the first to start traveling once the restrictions are relaxed. Thus, industry leaders are considering the exact ways how to attract them and include them as an essential step in the business recovery plan. Millennial appreciates a high value on transparency, trust, and brand authenticity. As 90% of them value brand authenticity over “perfect and packaged” messaging of the hotel.
Millennials are even more attuned to globalization and social media advances. They want a mobile-first guest experience, personalized messaging, deals and offers, 24/7 service, and more, as being tech-savvy travellers. That said, the value of adoption of concierge apps can hardly be overestimated.
Returning as Better Than Ever
Coronavirus outbreak doesn’t mean hoteliers are closing doors and are just waiting for this period to end. They are considering it a perfect time to catch up and improve. Whether it is a spontaneous renovation or completing property Improvement plan, according to them there’s no better time to do this. They are utilizing this time by creating a list of items, things, and everything that needs to be repaired, doing inventory of maintenance supplies, laundry room systems check, railings and balcony checks, elevators, life safety checks, pool systems etc.
Eye for the Prize- Special Deals
Hoteliers are taking steps to increase restaurant sales during the COVID-19. Reconsidering marketing campaigns and trying to find effective means of limiting declines like offering specials or deals (two-for-one meals, a free dessert). Even though they are losing profit by giving away free items, it still helps increase the bottom line.
Safety measures for Consumers
Given the contagious nature of the virus, it is crucial to have appropriate health and safety policies in place, especially for hotel business that relies on in-person interactions.
In these contexts, hoteliers are promoting proper health and safety measures, which may include the following:
- Self-service pay systems.
- Orders through mobile apps.
- Non-contact service and order deliveries.
- Complimentary hand-sanitizer stationed at the entrances and exits.
- Suspension of unnecessary work-place gatherings.
- Readiness to deal with staffing reductions.
With multiple regulations and healthcare policies levied all over the world, the entire hospitality industry is trying to watch and match steps with growing and ever-changing trends to meet up with all the regulations. Right from optimizing a no- contact yet a divine experience to creating spaces that could allow gatherings yet following the norms, the hospitality industry is leaving no leaf unturned. The industry is welcoming newest technologies for serving their customers nothing but the best, with open arms. It goes without saying that as and when the threat of the virus thins out from the face of the world, a 360 degree turnaround is going to be noticed in the hospitality industry with much more advanced yet luxurious facilities.