NATIONAL REPORT—StayNTouch, Fuel and ReviewPro have partnered to release the “COVID-19 Hotelier Sentiment Study.” The study surveyed almost 500 hoteliers to discover how COVID-19 has impacted their business, the actions they’ve taken to mitigate the financial impact and their sentiments about future travel and the road to recovery. The study segmented respondents based on geography, independent or branded status, number of properties and job title, and sought to identify ways that hoteliers can capitalize on new opportunities presented in the “new normal” of hospitality post COVID-19.
“There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the hospitality industry especially hard,” said Stuart Butler, COO, Fuel, “but our industry has always been innovative and resilient. Many of the hoteliers we surveyed have already taken steps to respond to the enhanced health and hygiene concerns of returning travelers.”
Specific findings from the survey include the following:
Approximately half of the hoteliers surveyed plan on reopening with 25-50% fewer staff members than they had before the pandemic hit.
Only 41% of respondents believe that their business will fully recover in occupancy and RevPAR within a year. Fifty-eight percent of respondents say that they are either “confident” or “very confident” in their businesses’ eventual recovery.
More than 70% of hoteliers are actively planning for recovery, with business recovery plans ranging from pure cost-cutting to enhancing SOP and hygiene, to reappraising their sales and marketing strategies, to some combination of the above.
Approximately half of respondents said they plan to invest in mobile technology or some form of guest messaging post-recovery.
“We see that hoteliers are considering a range of strategies to better position their properties for the new expectations and demands of travelers post-pandemic, including enhanced hygiene policies and contactless guest touchpoints via technology,” said Nicole Dehler, VP of product development, StayNTouch.
Micheal Kessler, CEO, ReviewPro, said, “This pandemic has changed both guest and hoteliers’ technology requirements. By leveraging contactless mobile communication at all stages of the guest journey, hoteliers can continue to create great guest experiences while looking after staff and guest safety.”