Currently, the novel coronavirus ‘COVID-19’ is ravaging throughout the U.S and crippling the economy, with especially the hotel industry a hard hit.
Estimates predict that, 1 in 4 cases in the world are diagnosed of coronavirus in the U.S. Never in the history would anyone have imagined such disruption would be occurring like this and it was never on the radar.
Coming to the world of hospitality, it has been really devastated by the COVID-19 not only in the U.S., but also elsewhere in the world. And the hardest hit emerged due to the fear of community spread through the travel and group/gathering events.
Within no time, all events of different sizes got cancelled, which had a direct impact on the hotel industry causing immediate room cancellations.
Everyone in the hotel industry saw that this pandemic out breaking day-after-day and the government initiating shutdowns, and owners plunge to allowing the cancellation of reservations and events without any penalties, but actually in a gesture of goodwill.
Right now, most of the hotels are closed in the U.S., and those that are remained open are at about just 20 percent of their regular capacity. The stats in fact are shocking, and to put them together – the hotel industry in the U.S. is losing around 3.5 billion dollars per week and there’s an estimation of millions of job loss.
Amid this helpless situation, many big hotel companies are practicing strategic plans to overcome the COVID-19. The first one in this bucket is to maintain social distancing. Secondly, many hotels slowly started adopting remote check-in or self-check-in accessible from kiosks and implementing direct-to-room technology, where guest can pre-check-in and also use his/her phone to unlock a door. This routine will eventually bypass the receptionist and avoids dealing with the front desk.
And, as we know, the travel and tourism is also a going to be impacted badly for quite a while.
Another area to witness change across hotels is in terms of cleanability, which means antimicrobial materials, chemically treated fabrics, floor surfaces and wall finishes, which are being prevalent in hospital and healthcare design, for a long time are to be considered for hospitality as well. The sole intention is to kill microbes, viruses and germs which spread on contact.
Other change area has to be seen after the pandemic recedes is in covering face, mouth, nose and also wearing gloves.
And coming out of this pandemic, things that are going to change may involve how hotels are going to be financed and insured, as sustainability has a major challenge for hospitality industry from a standpoint.