Forbes Travel Guide argues worst of crisis may be over for luxury hospitality | News


Forbes Travel Guide has released the second of its Leading Edge of Luxury Reports, providing a global outlook from over 400 luxury establishments. 

The new report, collated this September, depicts how luxury hospitality is faring and modifying in response to the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It highlights that slightly more than half of hoteliers believe the worst of the crisis is over, yet they expect that the road to recovery could be long.

Some 84 per cent of hotels are now fully or partially open to the public compared to 56 per cent in the inaugural July report.

Of the remaining that are closed, 63 per cent plan on opening in the fourth quarter. 

Some 38 per cent of respondents report delaying their re-openings, with most citing: not enough demand yet to be worth it (54 per cent) and government travel restrictions (49 per cent).

Although 54 per cent believe the worst of the crisis over, many indicated that recovery will not be easy.

One hotelier said: “I think the current situation will continue for a long time, but I don’t think it will get any worse.”

Another commented: “The worst is over; however, the expected slow recovery time may be worse than the outbreak.”

In the face of continued challenges, hoteliers are more determined than ever to serve clients in the best possible way. 

“This will be a long battle until we find the cure for the virus we continue to stay vigilant and continue to educate the team of not losing momentum in safe-guarding ourselves and our guests’ health and life by following all required procedures,” said one hotelier.

Many of the star-rated hoteliers questioned by Forbes Travel Guide have been forced to rethink all areas of their business, including operations, services, staffing, and guests.

Staff has been resilient with the added components of work, according to hotel executives. 

Some 60 per cent of respondents state their staff have coped either well or very well with the extra responsibilities due to reduced staffing, and 93 per cent have taken to the extra cleaning procedures well or very well. 

When it comes to managing guests, 80 per cent of respondents say their staff have handled enforcing health and safety procedures well or very well.

As more and more hotels open up to the public, there is a notable change in the guests they are hosting.

Some 64 per cent have seen a higher or much higher than typical proportion of leisure guests compared to business guests. 

Ongoing concerns around the pandemic have also led to a 61 per cent increase in guest telephone enquiries ahead of booking. 

With ever-changing travel restrictions, 78 per cent of properties are welcoming more local and regional guests as people avoid long-distance and international travel. 

Filip Boyen, chief executive of Forbes Travel Guide, said: “We have witnessed such tenacity from the hospitality industry despite the unending daily challenges.” 

“Yet we remain cautious, creative and steadfast in the future of luxury hospitality, however long it takes.”

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