RECOVERING FROM COVID-19
How Hotels Can Bounce Back
By Hiranmayii Awli Mohanan
The hotel industry on a global scale, much like the economy, is suffering a serious blow to the gut from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there proves to be light at the end of the tunnel because the fact is, the virus is a temporary and shall eventually run its course. With hopes and plans for the future, here are some tips that will help the hospitality scene overcome the challenges that was brought along with COVID-19.
BUY NOW, STAY LATER CAMPAIGN
The Buy Now, Stay Later Campaign is basically meant to help your favourite hotels support their team — housekeepers, mixologists, concierge and everyone who is involved in keeping the hotel running. The campaign will also help hotels during this tough financial times, brought on by the virus.
ADOPT CLOUD TECHNOLOGIES
Since we’re living in the age of innovation and technology, a people-centric industry like hospitality can actually operate and processed handled without hoteliers actually being there. With cloud-based Property Management Systems, they are able to control all operations at any time from anywhere. Although it’s not something entirely new, this system in this time proves beneficial. Imagine if this software syncs with mobile concierge apps, it can help engage with guests without personal contact, from the check-in to meal and service orders.
While all of us are looking forward to be able to get out again, according to the New York Post, millennials are the most eager to explore the world after the coronavirus ends. What’s more, millennials are expected to be the first to start traveling once the restrictions are relaxed. So they should be the target demographic for a business recovery plan given their fearlessness in seeking unique experiences. Given millennials’ tech savviness, apart from regular communication, say via email, hotels can adopt technology if it hasn’t been practised yet. They seek a mobile-first guest experience, personalised messaging, deals, and offers, the 24/7 service, and more. That said, it is hard to overestimate the importance of concierge apps adoption.
FOCUS ON MEAL DELIVERY FROM THE HOTEL RESTAURANT
During this uncertain time, there has to be a shift in game plan. Hoteliers are now moving towards boosting their in-house restaurant sales instead, which is a pretty smart move. This is the time to reconsider marketing campaigns and find effective means like offering special promotions and deals like buy two meals and free dessert. Leverage on social media with appealing images and constantly engage with followers on a daily basis. This builds interest and orders.
USE THIS TIME FOR HOTEL MAINTENANCE AND RENOVATION
The coronavirus outbreak has rendered many hotels closed, but that doesn’t mean they’re simply waiting out this period. There’s no better time than the present to evaluate and assess the hotel’s state and carry out ways for improvement. It can be a spontaneous renovation or completing the Property Improvement Plan. To get started, one can make a list of items, things, and everything that needs to be repaired, do an inventory of maintenance supplies, laundry room systems check, railings and balcony checks, elevators, life safety checks, pool systems, ensure all lights are off, etc. Then it’s time for a deep clean, spanning the air conditioning, shampoo carpets,, pull furniture, get under bed frames, clean behind frames/mirrors, vacuum cleaned with fresh belts and filters, and more. This way, when the hotel doors reopen again, it will be clean and feel brand new.
Live and learn. Given the contagious nature of the novel coronavirus, hotels should now reconsider their existing safety policies and improve it, especially for a business that relies on interpersonal interactions. Some of the health and safety measures that can be implemented after facing this pandemic include, self-service pay systems, orders through mobile apps, non-contact service and order deliveries, complimentary hand-sanitiser stationed at the entrances and exits, and suspension of unnecessary work-place gatherings.