This report provides an overview of the hospitality industry. Part (A) includes insights on methods of improving resiliency in response to future disruptions. Part (B) provides insights into ways the hospitality industry will be adapting in response to the coronavirus.
Part (A): This section provides insights related to how the hospitality industry will need to rethink its business model to improve resiliency for future disruptions.
- To get the clearest picture of vulnerability for the industry, it will need to quantify its potential losses depending on the type of crisis or incident that is faced.
- Indirect losses can outweigh direct losses by 3 to 10 times.
- The degree of vulnerability assessed influences decisions with respect to location, business risk, type of contract, valuation of assets, and types of investors, according to the Lausanne Report.
- Creating an industry-wide index would better inform investors.
- One potential vulnerability emerging for the hospitality sector comes from cybercrimes resulting in customer data breaches.
- Software is now available that quantifies vulnerability to cyber risks in IT assets and in the cloud.
Develop Vulnerability Reduction Strategies
- Creating operational models of hotels that are less exposed to hazardous events will be at the forefront of risk management. Particular strategies will be dependent on individual hotels.
- Hotels that are located next to airports are more vulnerable to being direct or indirect targets to terrorist attacks and will need to plan appropriately.
- Hotels located near train stations or large public spaces are equally vulnerable to being direct or indirect targets of attack.
- Resort hotel destinations are most vulnerable to environmental hazards such as tsunamis, and will need to plan appropriately.
- City-based hotels are dependent on water and energy provided by municipal sources (a vulnerability limitation that could come into play during a crisis), and could be affected by future pollution levels.
Leverage the Internet of Things and IT Systems to Control Infrastructure
- The Internet of Things (IOT) refers to the network of everyday devices that are commonly used by the public as they communicate with each other.
- The IOT has been acknowledged as a point of future development by the hospitality industry, which has already adopted it to some extent.
- IoT strategies enable hotels to increase guest satisfaction, decrease unnecessary costs and labor, and increase productivity.
- Smart room sensors connected through the IoT can decrease lighting and temperatures appropriately in unoccupied rooms, as an example. This lowers costs by up to 20-45 percent.
- Other sensors are able to reduce lighting based on the amount of natural light coming into the room, as an example.
Focus on B2B Marketing of Risk Improvement Strategies
- Risk improvement strategies such as “Hotel Resilient” should be marketed in the business to business (B2B) channel rather than to consumers.
- Wholesale groups, tour operators, conference organizers and industry associations are demanding effective risk management strategies and would be grateful for the formation of them.
- Marketing B2B enables hotels to prevent spreading wider consumer awareness of potential risks.
- The more unmitigated risk an area has, the less likely consumers are to travel to it.
- Alternatively, the development of industry standard security certificates can be a source of marketing in the future. If that happens, the process of marketing risk strategies to consumers can begin.
Master Big Data
- Big data refers to the collection of structured and unstructured data during a company’s operations.
- In the hospitality industry, big data is collected throughout the guest journey. It comes from marketing, guest experience, business intelligence, and personalization data points.
- Businesses are often overwhelmed with the amount of data received. Knowing what data is important is key to mastering big data.
- Big data can be utilized to provide an ongoing assessment of threats and vulnerabilities.
- Big data is an effective strategic management tool due to the role it plays in assisting to determine and assess potential scenarios in tandem with artificial intelligence.
Part (B): This section provides insights on lessons that companies in the hospitality industry are learning as a result of the coronavirus crisis and what foundational changes may occur as a result.
Improved Industry Communication and Collaboration is Necessary
Communicating and collaborating will be key to survival.
- Those in the hospitality industry are utilizing virtual collaborations to harness their creative power and move forward through the coronavirus crisis.
- Hospitality Tomorrow is a digital conference set to take place on April 7. Industry leaders from around the world will be in attendance.
- Hospitality Tomorrow is said to be an event that will unite the hospitality sector in producing solutions and best practices in changing times.
- Among the notable speakers at Hospitality Tomorrow is Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. He will be virtually joined by dozens of top executives in the industry from around the world.
- The World Tourism Organization and the World Health Organization have coordinated a “Healing Solutions” challenge that calls for entrepreneurs and innovators to submit ideas that will aid in the recovery of the tourism industry. The goal of the challenge is to deploy solutions on a large scale once they are identified, representing a major collaborative effort.
Increased Use of Guest Communication Apps
Apps that are made free during the crisis will be downloaded by hotels and used after the crisis for their utility.
- Whistle is among the tech companies that is now offering its customer communication app for free to the hospitality industry as part of the coronavirus crisis response.
- Apps like Whistle enable hotels to communicate with their guests at each step of the experience once a reservation is made.
- By using guest communication apps, hotels are able to manage their guests through checkout while significantly minimizing face-to-face contact.
- Guest communication apps are helpful during particular situations like a pandemic, but have added utility during times of worker shortages caused by any variety of changes in the workforce.
- Guest communication apps are another step toward automated hotels, a sphere that may see increasing interest in the future as the desire to limit human contact continues.
Improve Crisis Management with Employee Apps
Hotels are being pitched apps that would enable a more rapid crisis response in the future.
- Companies in the hospitality industry may turn to employee apps (such as Beekeeper) that are then utilized by all employees of their business for communication purposes.
- Employee apps enable swift and efficient communication with an entire team of employees to ensure no one is left out of the loop.
- In the hospitality industry, employee apps can enable the rapid communication of new standards for uniforms and for cleaning.
- Employee apps enable faster crisis recovery by limiting potential exposure to the threat the company is faced with and thus minimizing its spread or damage.
- Evacuation routes, safe meeting zones, and emergency exit routes can be installed in apps like Beekeeper to improve safety during an immediate crisis.
Expanded Use of the Cloud to Improve Operations
Usage of advanced software to improve operations has become even more important.
- The hospitality industry has been recently heavily engaged in using digital technology to improve its operations across multiple spheres.
- As cloud computing is seen as vital to improving operations swiftly, hotels are anticipated to use more software to assist in their operations moving forward.
- The global hospitality industry spent 12 percent of its IT spend on software in 2015, a figure that was anticipated to increase at a rate of 7 percent a year through 2018.
- Cloud-based systems are not stored in a single location but are instead stored in the cloud, thus making them accessible from any location in the world. Enabling full access and potential functionality from multiple locations is advantageous during and after a crisis.
- Cloud computing enables integration with vendors and applications regardless of their provider. This lets companies develop flexible, customized management systems that will be necessary in an industry that requires rapid adaptation.
- Diversification is key to survive future disruptions. Per Bruno H. Schöpfer, managing director of Katara Hospitality Switzerland, “If you do not diversify, the first crisis to hit will put you out of business. The more diversified your business is, the better.”
- Diversifying into senior residences and hybrid healthcare offerings is one path forward that reduces risk.
- Diversifying into rehabilitation facilities is another path forward in the medical field.
- Diversifying into catering is an option in the easily-aligned food industry.
- Diversifying into cruises is yet another potential option for the hospitality industry.