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Covid19 live blog roundup: Hotel sector prepares to enter new era

by | 16 Jun 2020 | News

Coronavirus has had a huge impact on hotels, but the industry is rising to the challenge.

We summarise updates shared on the TOPHOTELNEWS Covid19 live blog to draw a picture of how the international hotel industry is negotiating the ongoing crisis.

The international hospitality industry has been sent into a tailspin with the sudden onslaught of the coronavirus crisis. From lockdowns to travel bans and border closures, hotels are having to navigate more uncertain waters than ever before. 

TOPHOTELPROJECTS has been tracking in real-time how the industry is reacting to the continuing crisis, and here we recap some of the recent activity around the world, focusing on positive developments in particular.

Hotels initiate new policies going forwards

The hospitality industry is going to have to make big changes in order to regain the trust of guests seeking reassurances that it will be safe to visit their favourite establishments once more. With that in mind, many hotel groups are introducing new policies, initiatives and protocols as countries around the world ease lockdown restrictions and begin to reopen. 

For example, Hyatt is updating its cancellation policy, which now allows guests to have more flexibility with their booking, allowing for free cancellations any time up to June 2021. 

Meanwhile, Indian hotel group OYO has launched the ‘Scrubbed Clean’ cleanliness programme, which will be implemented at all of its US properties. And Mandarin Oriental is partnering with the Swiss Education Group in an effort to help businesses better understand the effect of the pandemic on the hospitality industry. 

Doubling down on domestic travel

Although restrictions are easing in some countries, many borders remain closed, and those entering from abroad may have to endure a period of self-isolation. This could spell disaster for international tourism, so various forward-thinking businesses are switching their focus towards domestic travel to see them through the near future before things hopefully return to some semblance of normality at a later date.

An interesting recent conversation between Nils Heckscher from PKF hotelexperts and Fred Burke, managing partner at Baker McKenzie’s office in Vietnam, confirmed that this is certainly the case for the Vietnamese hotel market. And it’s a similar story in Thailand, where seaside hotels in Phuket are to remain closed until the end of the year when international travel is more likely to resume. 

Covid19’s impact on hotel F&B

One part of the hospitality industry that has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic is hotel F&B. Social-distancing measures require many existing eateries and bars to be redesigned or rethought, all with the aim of making them safer for staff and customers alike.

Helpfully, NAME Architecture has released renders of how hospitality spaces might potentially look in the future. Those working in the sector may also be interested to know that the Sleep & Eat event is pioneering a new way to host its conference, which is due to take place this November. You can read more about its innovative matchmaking concept here.

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