Vendor Updates


2020 Spring
New York, NY

Crisis management during disruptive global events takes various forms, including travel restrictions implemented by governments, industry organizations, and private businesses taking precautions necessary to keep people safe. Hospitality organizations must be ready to adapt.

Caring for Hotel Guests and Staff During a Crisis — Seeing to the needs of guests and staff as events unfold and having an easily implemented crisis plan helps create an atmosphere of calm. The underlying message in all communications should be focused on the welfare of everyone, staff and guests alike. Communicating a sense of calm and order helps defuse tension and build trust.

In the case of a pandemic like COVID-19, making guests aware of measures being taken to ensure their health and safety is paramount. Small but important operating adjustments like posting visible signs to hand-washing stations helps communicate precautions are being taken. Reducing anxiety around traumatic events for guests and staff is a longterm approach to securing future goodwill.

The Importance of Flexibility — Adaptability and flexibility on an operational level are paramount to success during a crisis. Cost-saving measures like adjusting utility usage at affected locations is an example of adapting to changing conditions. On a marketing front, discontinuing paid digital marketing spend to account for demand troughs is a way to manage expenses during a period of uncertainty. When cancellations become necessary, hassle-free refunds and postponements will encourage long-term gains with customers, in spite of short-term losses. Relaxed restrictions and an increase in flexibility helps create goodwill with prospects and guests, while managing good communications and enacting policy decisions based on empathy have value of their own.

Honing Revenue Management and Forecasting — Even shortterm crises can have long-term effects on hotel revenue management and strategy. Crisis planning in forecast models is important, especially when the well-being of guests and staff is top priority. Year to year comparisons are useful to gauging an accurate picture of how demand levels will be affected by disruptive factors. This data is a basis for more accurate comparisons and garners important perspective, while serving as a guide for future reporting. Whatever revenue management tool is in use, a crisis period should be properly accounted for in future analysis. Accurate reporting lends vital perspective and best illustrates the impact of a crisis so as not to skew forecasting models and further disrupt business and strategy activities going forward. Focusing on business data to drive strategy in a time of crisis is the best way to rise above current circumstances.

Next Steps — Following a business change assessment cycle for adjusting, analyzing and evaluating impact is recommended during periods of uncertainly. Technology that enables mobile operations of all kinds is a big part of staying connected, now and in the future. Ultimately, the most important factor is taking care of guests and staff to ensure the health, safety and well-being of everyone at the location.

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