Messages from global hotel leaders addressing COVID-19

Worldwide: Major hotel groups and chains are responding to the coronavirus outbreak through personal statements and letters published online to reassure guests and staff of amended policies, updated health and safety measures, and a positive recovery.

Within the last week, a slew of published letters and messages from senior leaders of hotel groups address the coronavirus crisis.

Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International, has announced that the group will adapt its cancellation policy and introduce staff training on hygiene protocols.

“Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this unprecedented event and we appreciate the healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the front line working to contain this coronavirus,” said Sorensen.

Hilton, MGM Resorts, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts are among other hotel chains that have issued online statements concerning the health and safety of guests and employees.

Similarly, Federico J. González Tejera, CEO of Radisson Hospitality, announced similar measures. “[Guest] safety as well as the safety of our team members are our highest priority. Our actions demonstrate a firm commitment to deploying appropriate resources to help maintain a healthy environment for our customers and team members.”

In all statements, frequent cleaning routines and sanitation procedures are being undertaken throughout hotels in guest rooms, public spaces and back of house.

Talking about the US hospitality market, Barry Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, said to CNBC: “This is really a health care scare. All the bad news is roughly out there… but this is a huge short-term problem. 20 per cent of the economy works in service and tourism. Hotel occupancy is going to crash in the resorts market, but then they’re going to bounce right back.” 

Ian Schrager, the hotelier behind the PUBLIC and EDITION brands, recently shared a personal video message relaying to those working in the travel industry and those unable to travel. 

“We have been through a lot together and it will pass – things will return to normal. People are more important than businesses, and we will get the business back and we will be going back and doing everything that we love to do – which is to create the best hotels in the world,” he said.

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