The current state of the hospitality industry is anything but glorious to say the least. Travel and tourism have come to a virtual standstill, except where local tourism keeps the home fires burning (and that is at a very low flame!).
We can only hope that the year end and the beginning of the long holidays in countries like Australia and many Asian nations, will help to keep hotels and restaurants afloat until either we get a vaccine or the pandemic dies of natural causes due to the various restrictions imposed on society over the past few months.
The hospitality industry has been the trailblazer for many countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia over the years. In many locations, hotels established life and educated and trained the local population, so provided much needed work and income for families. These countries benefited from a major source of foreign income to support their economy, and tourism and hospitality led directly to the education and employment of the local workforce.
Hotels in particular, have been at the forefront of tourism related jobs and training. It was large hotel chains, and more recently the small boutique style hotels, that established a country’s reputation for tourism, as well as investing significant sums of money to promote new destinations
Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore (to name a few), had much of their early success due to the promotion of tourism by resorts and hotels setting up business. For more than 25 years, the Maldives has been established as a major destination because of the creation and promotion of landmark resorts through hotel chains attracting holiday makers, from the super-rich to the masses.
As a result, in many countries, the hospitality sector is among the top income and foreign currency generators in the economy, but now it needs as much support as possible. Now is the time to give back and keep the hospitality industry on its feet before much of the efforts put in by operators and owners over the past decades is lost.
Some countries have already started rescue packages for their tourism business but for many countries and governments there is still a long way to go to show their commitment to the hospitality industry.
So at this time of crisis, it would be a good time for governments to dig deep and help get back tourism on its feet through various programs, subsidies and planning of promotions for 2021 when hopefully, things will return to normal.
We all know the hospitality industry is resilient, but in the case of Covid 19, it does need some extra help to get things off the ground again. Being a worldwide pandemic, it has affected every continent, and resort operations in particular, have been hard hit with international travel severely restricted.
The long-term impact of Covid 19 is yet to be seen. Who knows how many new hotel projects have been stopped or much needed renovations postponed, not to mention the inevitable unemployment or standards in quality that have been compromised, due to financial constraints?
Once the health crisis is under control, governments need to get down to the important task of reviving the industry through financial subsidies, investments and incentives – not restricted to the usual tourism advertising campaigns which tourism boards carry out as normal throughout the year.
Let’s see who takes the lead and is able to get their vital foreign currency producer and major employers back on track.
About the author
Karl Faux is a veteran Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm.
For more information about Karl and Elite Search visit http://www.elitesearch.com.au and The Elite Hotelier http://www.elitehotelier.net