To our industry friends, colleagues and all of your loved ones: You are in the hearts and minds of the Hotel Business team during this uncertain time. As the cover story of this, the April 7 issue, states, we are headed into the unknown, and we are concerned about your personal health and well-being, and the collective health and well-being of the hotel industry.
Please know, we are here for you. We are here to report news and analysis as it impacts your businesses on what seems like an hourly basis. We are here to jump on the phone and just talk and connect during this time of canceled conferences and social distancing. We are here to keep your brands front and center, which is so important during times like these. In our cover story, “Into the Unknown: COVID-19’s short- and long-term impact on the hotel industry,” Mike Chuma, VP, global marketing, enablement and engagement at Ideas, aptly says, “In times of panic, you have to maintain your brand. You are going to come out of this and you want to be able to recover as fast as possible and maintain your differential in your comp set.” And when this is all behind us, we will be here to tell your stories and to report on how we, as an industry, have emerged stronger and more united than ever.
While we may be headed into the unknown, let’s focus on what we do know. We know how resilient the lodging industry is. We’ve been through natural disasters, terrorist attacks, the Great Recession and everything in between. And with each challenge, this industry learns, applies that knowledge and grows to even greater heights than we thought possible. We are an industry of inventive entrepreneurs who are able to find solutions and opportunities in every situation. We are a business of fierce competitors by day, and friends and colleagues around the bar at the conference reception at night. We are an industry of people serving people. All of these amazing traits are very present during this crisis.
While COVID-19 has already proven devastating to the travel industry, I’m seeing so many stories of hope, companies helping one another, organizations like the AHLA and AAHOA tirelessly lobbying on our behalf, and charitable foundations being put together by and for our industry because that’s just who we are. The road ahead may be unknown and will surely be difficult, but we will get through it together.
I’d like to leave you with a personal thought. We don’t have to look far to find negativity right now. I have friends losing jobs and businesses, healthcare professionals in need of equipment and fearful of their health—I also worry about the health of my parents and loved ones during this pandemic. But if we open our eyes, there is beauty all around us. Since my daughter was born, my wife and I struggle with working so much and feeling like we are not spending enough quality time with her. Every day, we wish we could be home with her and not have to hear from the nanny that she said something new or did something funny that we missed. We are both working from home right now because of the shelter-in-place mandates, and while the reason is scary and very serious to both our health and our careers, our beauty in this is that our wish has come true—even if just for a little while. I believe a lot of people are finding their beauty right now, and if they’re not, it’s probably closer than they think if they open their eyes to it.
Be well, stay safe and I look forward to seeing you all in person very soon.