What We’ve Learned from COVID-19
It’s been a few months and we’re still facing this COVID-19 pandemic. There were news reports weeks ago of Wuhan in China reopening and South Korea’s COVID-19 cases going down. Today, there’s news of reinfections in China and South Korea. The reality: the hotels and hospitality industry and other industries shouldn’t rejoice just yet.
Right now, let’s focus on what we’ve learned so far amidst this pandemic.
The effect of hotels and hospitality businesses giving back
Finding ways to help or give back during this pandemic can lead to positive results. If you’re a hotel owner, this is the perfect time to make the community feel that your brand’s there to give back and that your brand could be relied on. The hotels and hospitality industry can look at this as a way to boost their image and encourage brand loyalty, too.
A good example is the Hilton brand as it partnered with American Express in providing 1 million hotel rooms especially for health workers. Smaller hotels who can’t do the same can still give back by providing their guests additional perks and making sure they’re comfortable during their stay!
Most people and communities will remember these actions, believe it or not, and once everything’s back to normal, your hotel will be one of their top choices should they need accommodations.
Extend and Pretend
The term “Extend and Pretend” was a result of the Great Financial Crisis of 2009. It describes the relationship between hotels and hospitality business owners and lenders. Lenders could “Extend” the hotel’s loan e.g. allowing for some leniency (missed payments) because of the belief that this pandemic or disruption is just temporary and will eventually come to an end: “Pretend”.
If you’re a hotel owner worried about paying your loan, talk to your lender and check if they have programs in place while the COVID-19 situation’s ongoing. Researching if there’s a government program that would provide some financial aid to business owners is also highly recommended.
There’s still some demand for hotels and hospitality businesses
Even in this COVID-19 situation, there are still people who book hotels. There are tourists who can’t immediately fly home because of lockdowns and restrictions, so they need to stay in hotels. There are people who also choose to live in hotels. Some hotels are also being used as quarantine facilities. There are hotels booked for medical personnel. Some people choose to book in hotels and use those rooms as their offices.
In other words, there’s a demand (though lower) for the hotels and hospitality industry amidst this pandemic.
Going overboard slashing rates is a no-no!
Some hotels choose to slash their room rates significantly just to attract guests. Don’t! There are studies that prove that hotels that are the fastest in dropping their room rates or go overboard in dropping those rates in times of crisis, are the ones who find it the hardest to recover once things are back to normal. You can come up with promotions and discounted rates, but don’t go overboard.
Let hotels and hospitality industry leader: Hogan Hospitality Group give you more advice on how your business can survive this pandemic.