Understanding COVID-19’s Impact
Staying positive, staying alert, and staying focused are important if members of the hotel industry wish to lessen the impact of the current pandemic. Unfortunately, not all hotels will survive the COVID-19 crisis, so hoteliers, hotel managers, and the like would have to really understand possible impacts of the virus, carefully develop action plans, and consistently implement those plans.
Common Impact of the Pandemic in the Hotel Industry
Some of the most evident impact of the pandemic are found below:
👉 With lockdowns imposed in different parts of the world, people who still wish to travel would have no choice but to postpone or cancel their trip entirely, leading to left and right hotel room cancellations. Events are also rescheduled or cancelled, so the cancellation of meeting rooms and banquet rooms in the hotel industry has been inevitable.
👉 Smaller players in the hotel industry like bed and breakfasts, inns, and hostels will find it more difficult to keep their businesses afloat in the midst of the COVID-19 situation. Many of these small business players rely mostly on the surge of travelers and backpackers and with the significantly lesser demand for accommodations, these players will have to partially or fully shutdown.
👉 With the economic downturn resulting from the pandemic affecting the hotel industry (and other industries), it’s stressful to think about how to pay for monthly finances / obligations — especially when those once full rooms and lobbies are close to empty.
How the Hotel Industry Will Bounce Back
Managing room rates well during this crisis is a must. Decreasing room rates significantly won’t work to keep your hotel afloat. As seen in past crises, hotels that dramatically dropped their rates found it difficult to encourage new bookings once demand increased and they tried to raise their rates to what they once were. True, travelers will go for places that offer discounted accommodations, but you don’t have to go overboard just to entice people to book with you. Try lowering your rates a bit then simply raise them once demand increases again.
While there’s this pandemic going on and there’s low occupancy in the hotel industry, it’s a good time to check supplies and stock and make sure that your supply meets demand. Your hotel’s stock should be sufficient to meet customer requirements, but you shouldn’t over-order those supplies / stock. It’s also a great time to do some deep cleaning!
With less bookings and less income, the hotel industry may have to put some staff on furlough to stay in business. It may be best to cross-train staff so your hotel can still run well despite less staff working during the COVID-19 situation. Once conditions improve, the goal is to bring back the same staff to work for your hotel.
More often than not, governments from different parts of the world will have programs to help businesses in the midst of the economic crisis. It could be financial assistance, deferring loan payments, and the like. As a member of the hotel industry, it’s best to keep your eyes (and ears) peeled on the news so you can take steps to apply for your government’s program(s) developed for helping businesses stay afloat.
If you’re part of the hotel industry, it is normal to feel overwhelmed with what’s happening in the world today. However, even before this situation is over, you should plan on how your hotel can recover. Be proactive, have clear strategies in place, and support the different measures provided by your Government so you’ll be able to transition back to life and business before COVID-19, as smoothly as possible.
Need more advice on how your hotel can adapt to the current situation? It’s times like these that’ll make you look forward to an industry leader like the Hogan Hospitality Group.