Industry Update
External Article22 December 2020

Hotels have been hit hard by the pandemic. How can they fight back?

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1 min

Frame's editor at large sits down with Youri Sawerschel, founder of brand strategy and design agency Creative Supply, to talk about the future of hotels, post-pandemic.

The hotel sector is among the hardest hit by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In Frame's home base of the Netherlands, average occupancy has fallen to less than 10 per cent, reports CBRE. Against this backdrop, Frame's editor at large Tracey Ingram discusses the future of hotels with Youri Sawerschel. One of Sawerschel's roles as founder of brand strategy and design agency Creative Supply is to help hotels navigate changes in technology, consumer behaviours and regulations. The pair consider how hotels can rethink their rooms, diversify their offering while staying on-brand, and extend their position to online.

TRACEY INGRAM: Let's start with the pre-COVID-19 situation. There was a move towards local, with new hotels becoming more embedded in their environments. More social spaces, where visitors felt like they were getting an 'authentic' experience rather than being in a bubble with other tourists. Because of that - and presumably also due to the lack of space in city centres - hotels were beginning to pop up in suburban residential areas.

YOURI SAWERSCHEL: Before COVID hit, we were in the midst of a global tourism boom. It was all about new experiences, and people were shifting away from big hotel chains in favour of something different. Lines were blurring between retail and hospitality. And yes, more social places - which is quite ironic now. I do think this whole 'living with locals' idea was more a marketing tagline than a reality. If you go to The Hoxton, The Standard, Ace - a few of the hotels making this kind of claim - you might see locals, but you probably won't meet them.

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