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Pandemic calls for a crisis globally : A Travel industry insights

Revenue leaders are tracking the impact of the Corona virus pandemic on business for the hotel industry. As expected, Asia Pacific has the highest cancellation rate with 70- 80%

This is no time to panic, but it is time to plan. Activities should be multi-functional and cover varying what–if scenarios: 

  • What if corporate demand drops by 10 percent? 

  • What if group bookings fail to materialize? 

  • What if weekend demand declines by 25 percent?  

  • How can your marketing team redeploy and reassign planned campaign funds to generate and secure alternative business and new markets?

The biggest hit areas are the top four major costs:

1. Reservations & Revenue 

2. Food Cost 

3. Manpower

4. Management Fee

Come let’s share our information and thoughts , to spread accurate knowledge on the strategies on Revenue Management :

  • Shutdown non-operating floors/wings, review all variable costs to add above- This off course is the first reaction.... if there are no guests why to open floors???

  • Track how much cancellations and new bookings getting picked up almost after every 3-4 hours

  • Keep a close eye on my compset almost every 2 hours

  • Bring out some special offers/ promotions with guests especially group segment.

  • Automated pricing recommendations considering competitors to capitalize on market opportunities as recovery begins 

  • Forecast and visualization by market segment to enable more targeted activities.

  • Automated deployment of room-type overbooking strategy

  • Business intelligence and insights regarding demand levels and business mix through reporting to support effective forecasting for operational departments to control resources and costs accordingly. 

  • Don't support unpaid periodic leave

  • Close fine dining restaurants and keep only one active with limited menu to minimize food costs.

  • Catch up on pending tasks, training of Sales Associates so that when things rebound, your hotel team is ready to take the upswing by the horns.

  • Review management fees and take a cut in proportion to business impact- Chalet has initiated this with Accor and Marriott.... a lot of RHG owners have also raised this point.... many more to follow.

  • Email blast to the loyalty members and upcoming guests stating steps the hotel has taken to ensure a safe stay and assuring their safety at our hotel

We feel that outbound travel from India this year is likely to reduce and could get substituted by Indians traveling in domestic leisure markets. Demand from weddings could continue to fill hotels. Business related conferences and meetings demand is likely to suffer.

In my opinion, the way out to continue to remain in business is to select certain micro-segments, who still have the potential to support your hotel (market specific of course), specifically FITs, more granularly, domestic travellers per se. This segment could still support your hotel, provided, we as hoteliers and hotel companies show the warmth & care required to instill the confidence.

Instead of trying to cut costs to the level of reducing regular manpower, hotel companies should look at this as an opportunity to engage guests with PR activities like letting them know that we care (as a company) for their well-being and the society as a whole by ensuring that the hotel lobbies have digital display of do's and don'ts. We should be careful of some staff members who may feel bad because of the cost-cutting is in this hard time which may also create negative image with a feeling which means whole year you work and suddenly one day u not required because there are lots of company are providing lots of support to their employees by offering additional medical check-up and other required benefits to prevent from this situation.

However, no financial impacted reported by any OTA, the only statement by, Expedia, Agoda and other saying that they will continue to monitor the situation closely and update customers as we know more. Hotels worldwide are already feeling the pinch

OTA's started to react and apply the same by waiving cancellation fees or even waving commission in case of travel restrictions to affected countries.

One thing is for certain, the coronavirus has taken the hospitality industry and world by storm and the way of travelling will not be the same Our best overall advice is to be prepared but don’t overreact. The magnitude and timeframe of this crisis is difficult to predict. Regardless, we are always here to help, and we encourage our clients to reach out to their client relationship manager with any questions or concerns. 

You might never need your plan, but it’s always better to be prepared.

Let’s Stay strong. Stay Calm, Stay Healthy & Stay Safe !!

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