Hospitality Industry in the wake of Covid -19
The outbreak of Covid-19 has impacted hospitality industry a huge loss and breakdown. There is no doubt that the hotel sector will be under stress andis already seeing the impact — occupancies are down, mass gatherings have either been cancelled or postponed, and tourism has taken a stall.
With already over two months of this pandemic challenge, we as a nation have stood in solidarity with each other and helped in every possible way fighting this global pandemic with far-reaching effects, endangering lives and driving economy into recession.
Travel Industry will take time to recover after the impact of the pandemic is reduced as people would be afraid and will fear to travel. Yet, we should not be disheartened as the need of the hour is not to panic and train ourselves. Hoteliers need to re-strategies their marketing and shift the focus to hygienic side of customer experience and customer perception.
Also, the Hotel industry needs to introduce a lot of operational changes in order to gain the trust and stand up to the confidence of customers so that they choose to stay at the hotels. Remote working and contactless service is the new trend and it is here to stay for long. In hospitality sector too, we need to devise ways and come up with innovative ways for seamless and contactless guest experience from arrivals to departures. The hotel needs to introduce cashless and e-check-ins. Fine dining can be replaced with take-away or casual dining service style at the restaurants. The bills and any other communication with the gusts should be enabled through smartphones minimizing human interaction as much as possible. We have to blend with technologies, which addresses the current situation to ensure contactless operations. Procurement should be limited to keep the purchase cost levelled. The hotels will have to focus on frequent and strict protocols to maintain hygiene and cleanliness by installing temperature checks at the entrance, periodic sanitization of the hotel thereby safeguarding the well-being of guests and employees alike.
The brands also need to adopt digital transformation and educate the consumers about them and gain their trusts for a safe stay experience.Effective digital and social media strategies should be rolled out and as a part of the communication to ensure customer’s trust. This pandemic would also leave a trail of misnomers, fake news and would require us to guide the consumers with correct information to win their confidence. Hence, we need to rightly re-strategies our marketing to reach out to and regain the existing and potential guests.
We, 7 Apple as a hotel brandare driven by our 7 brand promises, abide by it, and have introduced a programme called “Healthful Living”. Guest’s safety and their experience is our utmost priority. We have become more focused on the hygiene standards and abide by our 7 promises of affordable, hassle-free, cool &comfortable, clean & hygienic, healthy& fresh, high-speed internet, and safety, security & privacy of our guests. We have installed kiosks for temperature check, doubled up our cleaning processes, leveraged “Diversey Chemicals’ for training to ensuring hygiene in the hotel premises. We have introduced new uniform kit, wherein, staffs are provided masks, gloves, face shields to minimize direct human contact. We have already incorporated minimum contact check-in through photo-id before room confirmation, online payment and our team is brainstorming how else we can implement contactless yet seamless service to ensure safety of our associates and guests.
The crux is that we need to focus on positive aspects, stand together during and after the crisis is contained, come up with new and innovative ways which is technology driven to minimize human touch ensuring the safety of everyone as this seems to be the new way of life and we need to accept this fact and come to terms with it devising our marketing based on this. Covid-19 is intimidating to be sure, it is disheartening to see businesses struggling, it is also important to remember that difficult times are a driver of innovation and we hoteliers can emerge moreresilient and with more lessons to apply to the future and always remember it is just a phase and “Every cloud has a silver lining” and we must keep reminding ourselves “this too shall pass’’.