Three Key Factors that will Change the Hospitality Industry Post Coronavirus

So much has been discussed in recent weeks about what’s next for travel and tourism, but it’s difficult to project the future when we’re dealing with such a barrage of negative news each day.But here at OH Partners, we are staying optimistic because we know one thing for sure—we will come back from this. We are social creatures. We need each other’s company and crave personal contact in our everyday lives. Human interaction fuels relationships, creativity and commerce. It’s essential to our mental and physical health, and we will find a norm that allows us to connect again.Still, it’s hard not to ask how we will adapt to a new “post-virus” reality when it comes to vacations, hotel stays, business meetings, cruises, dining out, attending concerts or any other social activity.

Safety and Hygiene

First and foremost, these businesses will need to assure the public that their safety is paramount. This will require diligence and commitment to an even higher standard of hygiene. In the short term, it may even require things such as temperature screening with thermal cameras, which Wynn Resorts recently initiated at their resorts in Las Vegas.

Businesses will need to evolve and soon the norm will include continually and relentlessly sanitizing airplanes, movie theatres, cruise ships, hotels and rental cars. It could become standard to adhere to a certain degree of social distancing in typically crowded environments. Certainly, this runs counter to the concept of meetings and gatherings, which are at the core of travel and hospitality experiences. Consumers will be reluctant to jump right back into life as they knew it, so this will likely be a gradual change as people continue to exhibit extra caution for their safety and security.

Adding Value

It’s also likely that the travel and hospitality industries will need to adjust to this new reality by initially tempering their pricing strategies and improving their overall value propositions. This crisis has been a shock to our system and a disruption to our routines. More than ever, there will need to be initiatives put in place to incentivize re-engagement and fuel demand. Offers that bring added value and that ultimately encourage loyalty will be critically important. However, companies should be careful not to cut prices too drastically to levels from which they may never be able to overcome.

Shift in Behavior

Technology has been a godsend during this time of social distancing and its benefits and applications are here to stay. Lots of behaviors may shift — business travel may be curtailed and replaced by virtual meetings, people will watch first-run movies from home instead of going to a theatre — but we cannot isolate ourselves forever. We will be on airplanes again, and we’ll still book our vacations, conferences, restaurants and show tickets. We can be sure of that.

Having lived in Las Vegas for over 30 years, I’ve observed and participated in the massive evolution of this city as one of the great hospitality destinations in the world. No place on earth better exemplifies the strength and resilience necessary to overcome a crisis such as this. Each instance in which we’ve encountered massive upheaval and undue hardship, we’ve come back stronger than ever. This will be true again in Las Vegas, and it will be true across the globe. It will take time, but hopefully it will be sooner than we think.

About the Author: John Schadler is Managing Director at OH Partners Las Vegas. For over 30 years he has represented some of the best in class hospitality and gaming brands across the US and internationally. With offices in Phoenix and Las Vegas, OH Partners is a full service marketing communications company, specializing in Travel and Tourism, Healthcare, Consumer Product Goods and Technology.

 

 

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