Forbes Travel Guide finds safety is top priority in new normal | News


Global hospitality is hoping to turn a corner in the next few months.

With many more luxury property reopenings, Forbes Travel Guide has surveyed the leaders of luxury hotels worldwide to see what the next chapter holds.

A total of 438 general managers and senior executives, representing a third of Forbes Travel Guide’s hotel collection, took part in the two-week poll closing on June 23rd.

Hoteliers were candid and cited their top two operational challenges for reopening: adapting and maintaining luxury service levels within constraints of COVID-19 (64 per cent); and budget or financing to manage the crisis and continue operating (62 per cent).

Despite the challenges, the guest experience has been reimagined for most hotels, and 86 per cent are either very or highly confident to handle any Covid-19 outbreak at their property. 

Filip Boyen, chief executive of Forbes Travel Guide, 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.”

He added: “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.”

Despite ever-changing national and state government guidelines, 70 per cent of hoteliers are still confident that business will return to sustainable levels within a year. 

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

Of those closed, 58 per cent divulged that a staggering 76-100 per cent of staff were either furloughed or laid off, highlighting the pandemic’s devastating impact on luxury hospitality.

Unsurprisingly, with the reopenings, the safety of staff and guests are at the forefront of operational procedures; 97 per cent of respondents said they are providing staff with PPE, and 95 per cent are increasing frequency of cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

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