The Coronavirus Crisis & How Your Hotel Can Survive
As a hotelier, you’re aware that we currently have a crisis worldwide. It’s caused by the Coronavirus, NCOV, or COVID-19. The tourism industry has really been hit and this greatly affects hotels, BNBs, resorts: the whole hospitality industry! In this situation, hotels need to come up with a crisis management plan and roll it out to employees and guests.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, a hotel’s crisis management plan should address current and potential impacts. It’s inevitable that the situation will worsen and it’s something every hotelier should prepare for.
Internal Response Team
Your hotel should form an internal COVID-19 response team as a first step in your crisis management plan. The team should be made up of a representative from each department.
Your response team should be responsible for keeping a pulse on the latest COVID-19 developments. They should be prepared to do some brainstorming on procedures that may need to be adjusted depending on the situation. They should also be responsible for communicating the crisis management plan to other hotel staff.
Hotel Health and Safety Strategies
Protect your employees and guests and put them at ease in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis. Include the following hotel health and safety strategies should be included in your crisis management plan. They could help minimize the risk of your hotel becoming a hotbed for coronavirus infections:
A. Give people access to sanitizers while in your hotel. Put sanitizers by the entrance, on the front desk, by the elevators, etc.
B. Put up signs reminding people to:
*Practice social distancing.
*Cover their mouths and noses when sneezing or coughing.
*Practice frequent and proper handwashing.
*Avoid handshakes, hugging or other close physical contact with others. Also avoid close contact with people who are sick.
C. Have protocols on what to do when an employee or a guest is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
D. Display information on COVID-19 symptoms to watch out for e.g. on the front desk, in the rooms, etc.
How to handle upcoming reservations should always be part of your hotel’s crisis management plan. You should take steps in putting your guests at ease, weeks before their check-in dates.
To do this, email guests about your crisis management plan. Mention the steps you’re taking, for example:
*Disinfecting all parts of the hotel more frequently.
*Hotel staff washing their hands from time to time, or having alcohol (or sanitizers) for employees and guests to use.
*Providing assistance to guests with COVID-19 symptoms e.g. arranging their transport to the nearest hospital.
It’s also best to include links to reliable sources that have information about the coronavirus. Don’t forget to give tips to your guests for their upcoming stay. If your hotel is located in an area where there are limited number of cases or none at all, mention that, too!
Your hotel’s crisis management plan should also include how to best handle cancellations. A lot of people are scared to travel right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Expect several cancellations on a daily basis.
Would you allow full refunds or would you allow guests to rebook their stays within a specific timeframe? Would it be possible to store the cancelled stay into a travel fund for the guest’s future use?
Stay on top of both upcoming reservations and cancellations. Don’t wait for people to become irate and frustrated about your cancellation policy in the midst of this health crisis. How you handle these will affect guest loyalty.Can your hotel still get revenue while a lot of people are anxious about traveling? Is it possible to enjoy increased hotel revenue in the midst of COVID-19? Learn how through our hotel revenue management service at Hogan Hospitality Group!