How to react to Coronavirus: Tips for hoteliers
COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, is causing not little troubles to the hospitality sector. Many countries have set restrictions on travel stopping flights and reinforcing borders control, therefore the impact on the people who work in the industry is not soft and hotel cancellations are happening. We should not let fear take over though, but react at the best that we can.
To enforce the concept that we all stand in this, we have put together a few tips for hoteliers to survive the Coronavirus outbreak.
The general fear can be heavy on you. You should not let panic win you over. Stay lucid and focus on your long term goals. Also, try to keep the morale up among your employees. Be transparent and extremely clear about all decisions to make them feel part of the family in such a delicate moment. Most of all be sure you rely on trustworthy media and information; don’t trust everything you hear because that is the best way to create panic. The official World Health Organization website is a good start.
Don’t sell your rooms out
Lowering prices might have crossed your mind. Sure you can, but the key is not lowering them TOO much otherwise it will be a hassle to recover later on. Try to focus instead on your package rates that can add value to customers. Their main concern now is not the rate itself anyway, but rather if it is safe. Safety always comes first.
Control your communication
It might be a good idea not to send out newsletters or communications you had already scheduled that could not be appropriate for the moment. Just postpone them or edit their content not to annoy your guests’ list. Following the same train of thought, you should also be very clear when communicating to your guests and answering their concerns: We understand you might have a lot these days, reason why clarity and calm are paramount.
Reinforce importance of hygiene in your property
It is a good idea to provide all the necessary tools to maintain your property’s hygiene at best. Make sure your staff is aligned with it and follows all the necessary rules. Remind employees who don’t feel well they should stay home until they feel better. Have a look at the website of the Royal Plaza hotel in Hong Kong to see how they are following the hygiene rules.
Invest in other areas
While “blocked” in some areas, you can use this time to invest in staff training instead (even online training if you are having your staff stay home). You can also focus on refreshing areas of your property you’ve been wanting to do for a long time but haven’t yet because you were too busy.
Don’t forget the power of the web
You can still invest in new technologies, conduct webinars, video conferences and use emails and phone. You can also think of the post-Coronavirus marketing initiatives you will carry on to catch up. There is no need to freeze absolutely everything; you need to reinvent your modus operandi. And, who knows, maybe this will be a useful lesson for the future or the start of a new way to work.
We hope our tips were useful and that we sparked even a little bit of hope that this situation will end. Remember we’re all in this together.
In this whole uncertainty, one thing is clear: People will start travelling again.