HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY AND ECONOMY AMID COVID-19 23rd Jun 2021

HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY AND ECONOMY AMID COVID-19

The Hospitality sector is a much broader term than people know. It is like an umbrella to many sectors and they are their major aim is customer satisfaction. People categorise the hospitality sector in just 3 or 4 sectors but the bundle is never-ending.

The business relies on providing luxury services and so, their main objective is to attain customer satisfaction. People think that hotels belong to the hospitality sector but the truth is it is one sector of the hospitality industry.

 The sectors in the industry are:

  • Accommodation
  • Food & Beverage
  • Travel & Transportation
  • Tourism
  • Meetings and Events
  • Attractions
  • Entertainment
  • Recreation
  • Technology
  • Cruise
  • Casinos

COVID-19 outbreak has presented an unfamiliar situation for the entire industry. It has broken the industry completely and raised serious concerns regarding the future and survival. The industry has faced many challenges and there is vital learning for the industry amid COVID-19 times.

For many domestic hotels quarantine has been the most effective way to reduce the effectiveness of the COVID-19 pandemic. The changing circumstances have made an extremely serious impact on the industry.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a massive change in consumer behaviour and their spending patterns have changed drastically. Casual walk-ins have dropped in hotels and people have become more alert about where to dine in.

IMPACT ON JOBS IN HOSPITALITY AMID COVID-19

There is an estimated cut of 50 million jobs worldwide in the travel and tourism industry as warned by The World Travel & Tourism Council. The Industry could take months to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic setbacks.

Many workers are not moving from their places for work due to travel bans and border closures which affects their daily income directly. Considering the current situation, the enterprises will delay investments, hiring of workers and buying goods.

According to reports, a lot of people can go jobless which would have a major impact on the hospitality industry. India is facing mass unemployment, bankruptcies and business closures amid the pandemic.

Maybe after a while, the nature of hotels and restaurants change and they might shift to more efficient operations. But for now, due to pandemic fear a large part of labors have immigrated. This has led to the majority of the front-line workers move back to their native places.

IMPACT OF BUSINESS ON TRAVEL AND TOURISM

Due to the ongoing pandemic and its travel restrictions, the United Nations World Tourism Organization expects that international tourism will be downgraded by 20% to 30% in 2020.

This is the comparison from the last year’s tourism. They took the SARS outbreak in 2009 as an example to explain it more properly, the SARS outbreak led to a decline of 0.4% international tourists. The Hospitality industry has 10% share of the global GDP.

Asia has now spread supply chains across the world. Due to the pandemic, all businesses, irrespective of their size, are facing critical issues, major sectors such as tourism; aviation and hospitality are facing serious challenges. There is a huge decline in revenue, insolvencies. There has been a huge amount of job losses in various sectors. Undergoing business operations at such times is quite difficult for small and intermediate organizations.

India – The hospitality industry has been hard struck and is declining. Experts have alarmed that the domestic hotel corporate will face weak Q4 FY20 and an even weaker Q1 FY21. During the month of March, there have been multiple large-scale cancellations within the corporate, MICE and leisure segments. Although, Tier 2 and Tier 3 hotels in India are only assumed to witness small erosion in business. The first half of March reported only a little downgrade in the industries despite of the virus.

Europe – Industry experts who acquire knowledge about the pandemic have stated that the global hotel industry will almost get a decline of 11-29%. KHN, an organization that represents bars, cafés and hotels have said that due to the travel restrictions, the industry will be facing a serious impact.

Cancellations in the industry have risen more than 50%, KHN had a survey that concluded that the hospitality owners believe they would face losses of more than 33% due to the lockdown restrictions put by the government.

China – Comparing the current figures to the ones of 2019, occupancy has downgraded by 68%. The Chinese market was the first market to deal with the pandemic; they had the most unpredictable stabilizations. As for now, they have more than 87% of hotels working and occupancy is re-growing.

Other countries – Hotels in the U.S are experiencing huge cancellations due to the pandemic. Because of this, almost four million people in the U.S will lose their jobs, accounting for 50% of hotel jobs in America. Italy has faced major occupancy issues, it is downgraded by 96%, and on the other hand the United Kingdom faced 67% downgrade.

SPECIAL ACTIONS TAKEN BY ONLINE TRAVEL AGENCIES

Online Travel agencies such as AirBnB, Yatra, EaseMyTrip with Oyo have joined hands and formed an association, CHATT (Confederation of Hospitality Technology & Tourism Industry). The initiative has been taken by Union Tourism Minister, Prahlad Singh Patel.

The Government has imposed lockdown in all parts of the world and this initiative has been taken to help the hotel industry to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The association will target small hotel owners and independent hosts and operators to recover from the setbacks.

CHATT will also help in digital transformation and promote domestic tourism. It will act as a supportive leader and also organise training programs.

Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager, Airbnb - India, Southeast Asia, EaseMyTrip co-founder and CEO Nishant Pitti, Oyo India and Southeast Asia CEO Rohit Kapoor, Yatra co-founder and CEO DhruvShringi are the key members to CHATT and they will have all the access to the resources.

According to Ritesh Agarwal, the founder of Oyo, the company has joined hands with the travel agencies to boost the country’s economic situation. Yatra’s co-founder, DhruvShringi, highlighted the need for one-country one-tourism policy. He also stated that prevailing economic issues are expected to be solved following the improvement of the tourism sector, encouraging the adoption of a uniform policy for travel & tourism in the country.

Nitish Patti, co-founder of EaseMyTrip also stressed on the importance of the private sector and government to work together to bridge the digital gap in the tourism sector. He stated that CHATT will work towards bridging the gap in the industry.

CONCLUSION

Business of almost 200 countries has been paralyzed due to a common factor, COVID-19. The real impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global business will come out with time. It is a possibility that the hospitality sector could possibly have a drastic change. A lot of researches are being conducted about the new strategies to be adopted.

The market and industry people are finding ways to light up the tunnel. To be relevant and get back to normal, there have to creative escapes.  

This story is written by Vedanshi Kumar: Content Writer- Team Head, MyTravaly

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