How Can The Government Work In Sync With Businesses & Hotels Working To Apply New Health Protocols For Safe Travel & Help To Diversify Their Markets?
As the world heals from the ruins of the ongoing pandemic, challenges await. It has changed the way we live, interact and socialize. Its adverse effects on the people and businesses are being identified and settled as we survive through and proceed towards recovery.
According to CNBC TV 18, the hospitality sector's estimated revenue loss is around 90,000 crore in 2020.
The travel, tourism and hospitality industry went through a 360-degree change, disrupting the means of conducting their businesses. Due to the pandemic and heightened safety significance, tourist behaviour and expectations have altered. Today, healthcare is the #1 priority, and robust healthcare protocols are the only ways of winning back travellers' confidence.
Government bodies worldwide have enforced relief packages to sup-port the industry, some of which are listed below:
Additionally, civic bodies and ministries are releasing COVID-19 safety measures to comply with guidelines from WHO. Indian tourism ministry too, rolled out safety protocol guide-lines to direct accommodation units in offering a safe environment to the travellers.
Demand for local is building up. With the rightassistance from the government, hotels can be a part of the ambitious 'Vocal For Local' initiative. Where local businesses and products will find a platform at a property and the owner can tie up with them to broaden the scope of his accommodation business
However, more needs to be done. This is a unique situation and might take longer than expected to get the world back on track. For empowering the travel sector and restoring guests' faith, a collective effort from the government and the business community is essential.
While hoteliers are practising social distancing, mask compulsion, periodic sanitization, guests' screening, containing crowd gathering, contact-less check-in and more they need civic aid in validating their guests' security.
Here are some ways local governments can administer and authenticate the health safety of local/national/international travellers and truly endorse the hospitality sector.
Going Contactless:Governments can provide hoteliers with the IT infrastructure needed to deliver a CONTACTLESS guest journey. It includes aiding them with the necessary software, training (if applicable), hardware procurement and other technology related support.
Recognising COVID safety effort: Local authorities can survey hotel premises, rooms on the basis of coronavirus guest safety compliance and award them the safety badge as a mark of 'protection against infection'procedures.
Special packages for safety gear procurement: Surviving the revenue loss in 2020, accommodation providers, distinctly small and medium sized need monetary aid to purchase covid-19 safety equipment. The government can help them by rolling out financial support packages to buy disinfectant sprayers, wipes, thermal guns, PPE kits, a large inventory of sanitization material, masks, gloves, face shields and more.
Encouragement to run safety campaigns: Local administration may ask hoteliers to run and promote their covid safety measures in campaigns on social media, web pages, brochures and subsequently assess their compliance with the stated protocols. The government's approval of such efforts can play a significant role in regaining guest confidence.
Furthermore, governments have been flexible in extending the scope of the accommodation units. Repurposing of rooms, banquets is an ideal example of it. Besides, civic bodies can encourage hoteliers to diversify their target markets by being open to a variety of customer categories. For instance, a family hotel can start accommodating solo business travellers and fulfil their demands by amending or introducing new services, policies.
Pandemic has resulted in popularising staycations among the guests, hoteliers can seize this opportunity, arrange their properties with the right amenities to serve a large clientele.
Demand for local is building up. With the right assistance from the government, hotels can be a part of the ambitious `Vocal For Local' initiative. Where local businesses and products will find a platform at a property and the owner can tie up with them to broaden the scope of his accommodation business.
Moreover, accommodation establishments might need to redefine their business processes to adjust to the changing landscape of travel. The pandemic highlighted the need for ingenious solutions and digitization in the hospitality industry.
With the right protective measures in place, administrative support and the perfect blend of technology in business operations, hoteliers can minimise human touch points, exercise social distancing on the hotel premises to convince guests that their safety is being taken care of.
Reinstating travellers'faith holds greater importance than ever in rebuilding the hospitality economy towards resilience and sustainability.
Amid the wave of uncertainty and unknown form of the future unpredictable length of the pandemic and its resurgence the collaboration of the industry and government to enforce profound healthcare safety measures will remain invaluable for years to come.