Nine Months of Covid: Advice from the Global Hotel Industry
I recently completed a study on how hoteliers around the world (1000 strong!) had been affected by Covid and also to learn more about the tactics that they had used to navigate the pandemic. Not surprisingly, hotel performance (occupancy, ADR and RevPAR) was down by 30 - 40%.
I looked at several areas including the current situation, health and hygiene restrictions in place, tactics that hotels had used to stay afloat and predictions on the length of recovery. I also asked for advice on best practices and also on things to avoid.
The results were absolutely fascinating! Not surprisingly, there were major differences by part of the world. For example, most countries represented had some sort of border controls in place, but in Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Middle East/Africa (MEA) government played a much stronger role in managing quarantine restrictions.
These differences carried over into the sorts of tactics employed. For example, respondents in APAC and MEA were much more likely to have successfully offered delivery from their restaurants and serving as a quarantine hotel. In addition, cost-cutting practices had been widely adopted, respondents in APAC and MEA were much more likely to have reduced employee hours while respondents from the Americas and Europe were more likely to have furloughed employees and reduced their hours of operation.
Respondents were fairly pessimistic about how long it would take for hotels to recover. With the exception of MEA, over half of respondents believed that recovery was going to take over a year.
I also asked respondents on advice for how best to navigate the pandemic and also for suggestions of practices to avoid. By far, the most common advice was to stick with it, stay positive and above all, not to panic! Other pieces of advice focused on the need to plan, to carefully manage the financial statement, to be sure to take care of employees and the importance of good communication with all stakeholders. In terms of practices to avoid, the most common themes were to avoid getting engaged in a price war and to avoid making rash decisions and
starting to panic.
While Covid has obviously had a more severe impact on the hotel industry than previous downturns, the themes that emerged from the open-ended comments were remarkably similar to those from earlier studies. The themes that particularly stuck out were the need to stick with it, not panic and to above all, avoid getting engaged in a price war.
If you'd like to read the report, please see below. I hope you find it of value!! Would love to hear what you think.