By Nicki Graham, Cendyn
In a recent survey conducted at Cendyn, we spoke with hoteliers from across the globe and asked them how they are managing their re-opening strategy during a global pandemic. As a reminder to all, hotels are in different situations across the globe—not every hotel is closed right now but many were closed for a significant time and are just re-opening or planning to re-open, albeit at a limited capacity. There are also a number of hotels that are closed for the foreseeable future. This survey is focused on re-opening strategies for hotels across the globe and what their priorities are during this uncertain time. We look at the data from a global perspective throughout.
Q1 Do you see technology helping with recovery efforts?
A resounding 86% of respondents said that technology would help with recovery and just 4% said that it wouldn’t. While our industry prepares for social-distancing and pre-emptive cleanliness for both guests and staff, it is clear that technology must place a significant part in this.
Q2 Please rank in order of importance technology needs for your hotel:
We asked hoteliers to share the importance of different technologies for both guests and employees. The top 4 technologies were contactless technology, sanitation technology, CRM, and Revenue Management. Amongst the ‘other’ category, we saw technology such as: virtual meeting and conferencing technology, digital marketing and security technology. You can see how each technology ranked in the color chart below with the most important technologies in the 1, 2, and 3 ranks.
Q3 Are you planning to operate your hotel at a reduced capacity?
Hotels that re-open typically must adhere to strict guidelines around social distancing, cleanliness and sanitation, which in turns means operating at reduced capacity. From our survey we saw 68% of hotels say that they would be operating at a reduced capacity for the following reasons:
- For cleanliness, safety standards and local regulations
- Floor closures
- Property renovation and upgrades
- Lack of demand
- Health measures
- Reduced staff
All changes require significant resources, money and time, which of course many don’t have right now. It’s therefore vital that where hoteliers can, they should leverage technology and support where they can to succeed. In a recent article from Sherri Kimes, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, states “What we need to be focusing on is managing effective capacity as profitably as we can and at the same time be generating other revenue streams to help offset the loss of our full physical capacity.”
Q4 Are you planning to add or change any protocols at your hotel to allow for social distancing, enhanced cleaning and capacity?
As well as capacity constraints, hoteliers are also dealing with adjustments to many standard protocols. Some of the top adjustments that will be made at hotels across the globe are adjusting housekeeping efforts (89%), removing unnecessary items from rooms (80%), reducing restaurant capacity (76%) and improving cleanliness of restaurant areas (64%), implementing mandatory temperature checks (70%) and contactless check-in (70%), and reducing capacity for meeting and event space (60%).
Interestingly, in APAC we saw the following ranking of importance:
- Remove unnecessary objects (90% of respondents)
- Temperature checks (87% of respondents)
- Limited capacity in restaurants (81% of respondents)
Q5 Are you providing PPE for guests on arrival, if so, please let us know what you are providing:
Hand sanitizer (90%) and face masks (64%) seem to be the PPE of choice for hoteliers. Gloves (27%) fall in third as PPE option provided to guests on arrival. A very small 6% said they would not provide any PPE.
In EMEA, we saw 100% of respondents state they would offer hand sanitizer to guests on arrival and just 59% providing face masks and 45% gloves.
Q6 What efforts are you putting in place to ramp up marketing and sales efforts for re-opening?
Even with limited budgets and resources, hoteliers across the globe are looking at ways to drive revenue through their sales and marketing channels. Sending targeted email campaigns (77%) seems to be the most common way to ramp up activity, followed by running offers to all guests (65%) and offers to loyalty members (55%).
In APAC, we saw that respondents felt that increasing digital spend and targeted emails were of equal importance in the top rank with 68% stating it would be put in place to ramp up for re-opening.
What does this mean for my hotel?
In this survey we analyzed data from over 200 hoteliers across the globe with a goal to understand hotelier sentiment during such an uncertain time. These results enable us to see what’s front of mind for hoteliers across the globe right now and allows us to understand what is and isn’t a priority.
Technology will play a major role in evolving our industry through this but so will the industry’s ability to get creative with the constraints that are put before us. As we navigate it together and evolve, we hope these findings as well as other educational resources can help steer us towards recovery in a smart and safe way for all.