As COVID-19 roiled the globe, hoteliers, like 9/11 and the Global Recession before it, found online travel agencies (OTAs) throwing them a lifeline. Through extensive TV and online advertising, booking engines pull in heaps of business, but at typically high commission costs that eat into profit margins.
Guest writer Jackie Douglas, President, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) shares her insights and practices which the hospitality industry has learnt from COVID.
Why Some Travelers Will Go the Extra Mile for a Unique Hotel Experience
Recently while on the road conducting training for the Camelback Resort in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, I had the opportunity to experience a genuine, authentic welcome. Before that story, let me first share a few details about my expectations, as well as what happened before my arrival.
In Europe, total labor costs on a per-available-room basis in April 2021 were $18.94, according to HotStats data, versus $15.75 at the same time last year. In Asia, labor costs rose to $37.63 in April from $25.67 in April 2020.
If you dont know yet, the hospitality textile market in Q1 and Q2 of 2021 has seen its fair share of challenges. There is a good chance the hotel you stay in this Summer will have towels and sheets that look a bit old. The reason is that the property (and industry) will be short on replacements as textile manufacturing challenges continue to grow. In my years as a CEO distributing both hospitality and retail textiles, Ive never seen so many factors come into play, putting an entire industry into chaos.
It doesnt sound right to talk about the benefits of COVID – 19, but if theres any upside to the pandemic, its that massive disruption to business has forced hotels to find operational efficiencies – resulting in lower costs – without damaging the guest experience.
Have you ever walked in to work at a hotel or hospitality company and immediately recognized that someone, somewhere has determined that today is going to be 'one of THOSE days'? Its almost like someone posted a sign at the staff entrance to make it official. When you greet your first co-worker, they mysteriously transfer the bad vibe over to you. Before you know it, you too are sending the same negative vibe on to others.
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.