COVID-19: What will it take for a revival of the Hospitality industry

Globally, many experts and foreign agencies are taking the stand that the coronavirus pandemic is the most challenging crisis the world has faced since the Second World War.

This has caused an unpredictable market crisis ever witnessed. Undoubtedly, the hardest-hit industry is aviation, hospitality, and tourism, which are interdependent on each other. COVID-19 impact on the Hotel industry has forced us to reimagine the new normal and is quite Hoteliers anticipate the following months might be tough for the hospitality industry with no definite vision of recovery.

Where the chain properties are also bearing the burnt, the worst hit is independent hotel brands /properties. The revival after COVID plans are challenging considering the interstate, inter-country travel restrictions.

Another major threat is the impending worldwide economic recession. It is unlikely that people will have the disposable income to travel even after this crisis & more so the fear of catching infection would engulf people’s minds.

The ongoing lockdown in the country and pause in all domestic and international travel has impacted all segments -- domestic, inbound and outbound; and all verticals - leisure, MICE, heritage, adventure, and niche. The crisis has put the tourism business activity of the country, which is estimated at over $28 billion and related activities, to an unimaginable halt.

To deal with these challenges certain Revival the hotel & travel industry experts are laying strategies. These are:

Expecting things to stabilize to some extent by October 2020, which is the peak business time for the hotel & tourism industry: special plans must be made to tap into the business. This would happen purely based upon the current guidelines like the number of guests allowed in banquet parties, social distancing rules & so on.

The next good window is: Targeting & promoting Domestic Tourism. It would provide some hope of recovery signs. Seeing confidence in the domestic capabilities & options available in India, travel enthusiasts will be attracted to explore varied local experiences available in the country. Hence, post lockdown, domestic travel will be the future for the hospitality industry, keeping in mind the proximity and low-cost safe travel.

Witnessing the change in the consumer mindset that has been brought by the present trends where essential goods & services are the focus, the purchasing behavior of people has changed. Now it becomes even more important for the hospitality industry to bring new fertile models with more opportunities for the development of the business.

Post-Lockdown, to bounce back, Hotel Industry has come up with new policies and concepts and reloading its services, where health and hygiene are being given a lot of priority. Technologically, further advancement is being adopted by hotel industry. To ensure guests’ safety & wellbeing, proper screening, monitoring, hygiene standards being practiced are being followed & promoted by the hotels industry.

Other value-adding facilities that the Hospitality industry is currently offering are : A doctor on call, wellness programs, yoga, spa, forest bathing, etc.

What is now is clearly understood by all is that in this New Normal World: the old world order no longer exists and mindful, conscious living with an affordable cost is to be curated and tailor-made.

Social media will become the new go-to tour agent and people more than ever will be drawn in by authentic storytelling and experiences. To ensure economic growth & corporate profits, the operators and investors are trying to alleviate the cash and capital to stay in close contact with their stakeholders. Now the primary focus of the policymakers is the safety of their people & the secondary one is to balance the economic parameters to ensure a smooth running market. The need for an hour is the new decisions that can take forward our hospitality enterprises without making it stagnant. Also, it’s time that the government realizes the contribution of the hotel industry, particularly heritage hotels, not only to the GDP but also to employment and to the preservation of ancient buildings and cultural traditions. It is imperative to heavily reduce taxation on the hospitality industry and reduce the costs of bar licenses, visa fees, and other associated costs if there is to be any hope of recovery within the next five years.

Posted On:
28 August 2020

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