Survey findings reveal operational challenges for hoteliers

US: Forbes Travel Guide (FTG) surveyed close to 450 general managers and senior executives to gain an insight on the current climate in luxury hospitality.

Hoteliers cited the top two operational challenges as adapting and maintaining luxury service levels within the constraints of COVID-19 (64 per cent), and budget or financing to manage the crisis and continue operating (62 per cent).

86 per cent stated they are very or highly confident to handle any outbreak of the virus at their property, with 70 per cent believing that business will return to sustainable levels within a year.

At the time of the poll, 41 per cent of hotels survey were still closed, with the majority planning to reopen in July (38 per cent), August (18 per cent) and September (15 per cent).

Of those closed, 58 per cent said that between 76-100 per cent of staff were either furloughed or laid off.

With the reopenings, 97 per cent said they are providing staff with PPE, and 95 per cent are increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting procedures. 

75 per cent are introducing capacity control measures throughout the property, with 81 per cent altering guest and public areas to enable social distancing.

Some of the feedback shared from hoteliers include: “Guests are not interested in wearing masks and are not afraid of COVID-19,” as well as: “Some comment positively on the extra measures. Others see it as an inconvenience to the flow of their stay in a luxury hotel.”

Filip Boyen, CEO of FTG, said: “Our industry is poised and ready to receive guests once again after months of reimagination, training, and preparation. They have reinvented their operations, ensuring that guest experience is still at the heart of the luxury hotel stay. But many hoteliers are faced with a fresh challenge of managing some guests who see the protocols as an inconvenience, regardless of safety for staff and other guests.”

The two-week poll closed on 23 June. The full report can be downloaded here. 

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