As a writer in the hospitality space, I am often approached by new companies with emerging technology who are looking for PR. Despite that my articles are almost always related to training tips for human engagement such as sales and hospitality skills, they somehow think that my help promoting whatever new gimmick they have come up with is key to promoting their services. Recently I was approached by yet another company about an exciting 'new' innovation they had invented.
While the past year has been a tumultuous ride, the good news is that as we head into spring, the light is blinking brightly at the end of the tunnel for the most of US and Asia Pacific markets and were on track to come out of this experience all the wiser. But before we rush to snap back to business as usual, its important to take a moment to reflect on what weve learned about our industry, and ourselves, during this difficult time.
Something I learned early in my career is that humans can handle bad news, they just cant handle surprises. When it was apparent to my leadership team and me on the March 2, 2020 that we were heading into World War III for Travel, I insisted on having weekly webcasts with the entire company by mid-March. That one communication decision became the most fundamental thing that the Remington leadership did for the past year.
Any business worth its salt is conscientious of money coming in and money going out. The problem is that when things are going good – the operating environment prior to COVID striking – hoteliers tend to become a tad lax, especially on expenses. Sure, they want to keep food costs down; they want to curb operating expenses; they want to manage labor effectively. That doesnt mean it always turns out that way: a recurrent examination of operations and audit of vendors, suppliers, lenders and other accounts.
Net spending intent on travel hits pandemic high mark
The hospitality industry has been regarded as the most challenging and stressful working environment compared to any other industry sector. As a former waitress in the banquet hall of a five-star hotel and a Michelin starred restaurant, I deeply understand the required components of multi-tasking in a fast-paced environment, while maintaining service quality simultaneously.
The truth is, the situation across the world is still far from ideal and recovery is taking longer than any of us anticipated. Last year we focused on simply surviving, but this year we can shift our efforts towards recovering and rebuilding from the ground up. The journey ahead is still long and uncertain but it is through shared knowledge and collaboration that we can support each other and recover in a healthy, consistent way.
A crisis is often needed to make drastic changes and the ongoing pandemic is one of the most challenging crises that the world has faced since the Second World War. The COVID-19 outbreak came in suddenly, swept across the world and changed us in an unprecedented way – not only our businesses but even the way we live.
The final HFTP Europe Hangout of the year made a few requests of its participants: wear some fun holiday garb, bring your sense of humor, tell a few stories about how 2020 put everyone through the ringer and, on a lighter note, share what we hope for in 2021. It was a valuable reminder that we all must continue on with optimism and determination until we can finally emerge and prosper on the other side.
I have been thinking about this topic for some time. Especially now in 2020 with the social unrest in this country and elsewhere in our world I think its time to speak up. For me, that means offering what I think is a path to an improvement in the way we look at and see each other. It comes from my experience in hotels, from the culture I grew up in, inside the hotel world, and at home.