Industry Leaders Think Tank: As the World Turns

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The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the hotel industry, creating an environment that is unpredictable and constantly evolving. However, smart hoteliers are adapting to this new world by focusing on agility, innovation, and guest-centricity. Here are some of the ways in which hotels are succeeding in the new world. 
  1. Embracing flexibility: The pandemic has shown the importance of being able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Smart hoteliers are embracing flexibility in their operations, from offering flexible cancellation policies to adjusting room configurations to accommodate changing guest needs. 
  2. Emphasizing health and safety: Health and safety have become top priorities for travelers in the pandemic era. Hotels that prioritize cleanliness, hygiene, and social distancing are likely to attract more guests and generate more revenue. This includes implementing new technologies and protocols for cleaning and sanitizing, as well as providing personal protective equipment and other health and safety measures. 
  3. Employee delight: Creating a strong and positive company culture is another important factor for hotels to succeed in the new world. With the pandemic exacerbating the labor shortage in the hospitality industry, hotels must prioritize attracting and retaining talented employees. This can be accomplished by creating a culture that values and supports its employees, from providing training and development opportunities to offering competitive compensation and benefits like flexible schedules. By fostering a positive work environment and investing in their employees, hotels can not only attract top talent but also retain their current workforce, which is essential for maintaining operational efficiency and delivering exceptional guest experiences. 
  4. Leveraging technology: Technology has played an increasingly important role in the hotel industry, from contactless check-in to virtual concierge services. Smart hoteliers are leveraging technology to enhance the guest experience and streamline operations, from revenue management software to cloud-based property management systems. 
  5. Rethinking Productivity: With inflation-driven operating costs and uncertain demand for hotel room nights, hotels must optimize their operations to maximize productivity and efficiency. This can involve implementing new technologies and processes, such as automation and dynamic task assignment software, to streamline operations and reduce costs. Additionally, hotels can focus on cross-training their employees to enhance their skills and abilities, enabling them to take on multiple roles and responsibilities. By rethinking productivity and exploring innovative approaches to operations, hotels can improve their bottom line and better position themselves for success in the current environment. 
  6. Focusing on local travel: The pandemic has driven a surge in domestic and regional travel, as travelers prioritize safety and convenience. Smart hoteliers are targeting local travelers with tailored marketing campaigns and packages, highlighting nearby attractions and experiences. 
  7. Emphasizing guest-centricity: The pandemic has heightened the importance of putting guests first. Smart hoteliers are focusing on creating personalized, memorable experiences for guests, from customized amenities to local recommendations and personalized service. 

In conclusion, the pandemic has created a new world for the hotel industry, but smart hoteliers are rising to the challenge by embracing agility, innovation, and guest-centricity. By focusing on flexibility, health and safety, technology, local travel, and guest-centricity, hotels can succeed in the new world and thrive in the years ahead. 

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