COVID-19 took the world by surprise and has had a drastic effect on not only the way business is done but also on how to survive. With many businesses shuttering their doors due to government-ordered lockdowns, coming up with ways to safely reopen was top on the priority list. Many hospitality professionals have been left to assess the impact that COVID-19 has had on their business as well as what protocols will need to be implemented in the future. Below you will find eight blogs that delve into the impact that the global pandemic has had on the hospitality industry.

1. People management during COVID-19

One of the most crucial resources with any business is its personnel. Unfortunately, this has been one of the areas most affected by the coronavirus. The blog post People Management During COVID-19 provides information on how to handle this precious resource and help work together with one's personnel to overcome the challenges that the global pandemic has created. It touches on issues such as communication, which is vital whether the employees are reporting to work in-person or virtually. By always taking the initiative to stay in contact with staff, they will not only feel listened to but understand how valuable they are in these challenging times.

The piece also discusses how to handle employee retention, layoffs and furloughs during the times that businesses had to be shutdown as well as the slow period of resurgence. Find out how to maintain your hospitality staff, and if you can't, how best to handle a staff reduction. Finally, the post discusses the implementation of social distancing, considered extremely difficult in an industry that relies on human touch for a welcoming attitude as well as professionalism. Learn how to help make employees and guests safe while still making them feel valued and welcomed.

2. COVID-19: Impact on the hospitality workforce

One of the industry workforces that has taken the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic in hospitality. Not only have many in the industry lost their jobs, but they have also seen a significant change in how their jobs are due to evolve. COVID-19: Impact on the Hospitality Workforce explores the various ways in which workers have been impacted during the shutdown period and beyond. The piece starts by discussing how hard hit the hospitality industry was in many countries, some more drastically than others, such as India, Europe and China. The U.S. has also experienced an unprecedented level of cancellations and a significant decrease in business over the past six months.

The article discusses how the hospitality industry's reliance on temporary workers, who come from various cities and neighboring countries, significantly shrunk as many returned back to their native homes. Also mentioned is the fact that the unprecedented number of layoffs could result in the need for front-line hospitality staff to up their game and gain new skills to be able to be competitive when the markets reopen.

3. Lessons From COVID-19: The perspective of an EHL student

COVID-19 has not only had an effect on workers that are currently in the hospitality industry, but also those who are getting their education and training to prepare for a future career in the industry. Lessons From COVID-19: The Perspective of an EHL Student delves into the impact that the coronavirus has had on students working toward their degree or certification in the hospitality industry. It touches on the benefits of a technological world that allows for remote learning so that students did not fall behind. It also discusses other positives that have emerged from the new way of learning, such as finding different sources of motivation, being able to connect with others on a deeper level as everything slowed down, and how to be patient and accept the hand you have been dealt. All of these attributes can also help to prepare students for possible future situations they may find themselves in once they complete school and begin their future career path.

4. Easy to use key points for independent hotels during COVID-19

Another way the hospitality industry has changed as a result of the pandemic is how hotels operate. Even though many businesses have been allowed to reopen, they have been given requirements that they will need to follow to ensure safety. Easy to Use Key Points for Independent Hotels During COVID-19 is a blog post that addresses some of these issues and provides a list of key points that hotels and other businesses can follow to stay compliant and create a safe environment for both workers and guests. It discusses maintaining communication with health care agencies to understand new protocols and reporting measures. It also touches on the need to have a ready supply of required safety materials such as disinfectants, masks and sanitizer so that guidelines can be followed. Finally, it addresses the need for businesses to continue to educate their employees on hygiene and infection control procedures to reduce the risk of virus spread.

5. How hoteliers navigate the crisis

One thing that all hoteliers have in common is that fact that they have been affected in some way by the global pandemic. How Hoteliers Navigate the Crisis discusses the profound impact that the coronavirus has had on hotels and their employees across the globe. It is the first time that the world has ever seen hotel shutdowns by states and countries, and the length of the shutdowns have led to some even closing their doors for good. As an industry that works on minimal margins, even a small length of time closed can be devastating. The piece goes on to provide tips for hoteliers regarding how to help navigate the crisis, such as understanding and supporting staff, avoiding a significant drop in rates, and showing customers you understand how they feel by making an effort to keep in contact with them until the crisis is over.

6. Impact on Switzerland's tourism and hotel industry

Impact on Switzerland's Tourism and Hotel Industry discusses the drastic effect that COVID-19 has had on Switzerland. Over the years, three of the most popular destinations in the country, Lucerne, Berne, and Zurich, had become hot spots for Chinese tourists. Both individual Chinese travelers and groups of Chinese tourists flock to these destinations year-after-year, providing the towns and hospitality industry there with a significant amount of yearly revenue. That was before COVID-19 hit the globe. The article talks about Chinese travel restrictions, which blocked more than 20% of their tourist population for the year. It goes on to discuss the impact on the tourism-dependent cities in Switzerland which are not only experiencing a significant decline in hotel revenue, but also a reduction in retail and restaurant revenue.

7. COVID-19 and ensuing design changes to hospitality spaces

Everyone is constantly talking about the "new normal" and what that will look like as the world continues to fight the pandemic through social distancing and sanitization measures. While the new normal will definitely affect how we interact and go about our daily activities, it will also affect the design of spaces, including those in the hospitality industry. COVID-19 and Ensuing Design Changes to Hospitality Spaces addresses how the latest reopening requirements for hospitality venues have changed the design and look of hotels, restaurants and other places, with the need to promote social distancing and hygiene measures. It discusses how personal touches to do with customer care will be replaced by maintaining a clean, safe and disinfected environment. This will involve the promotion of more in-room dining options and the presence of contactless check-in and check-out procedures. Even the designs of large public spaces, such as ballrooms and conference spaces, are likely to see a revamp with less carpet and more materials that are easy-to-clean and disinfect.

8. Impacts of cleaning protocols

One of the largest ways in which COVID-19 has affected the hospitality industry is the cleaning process. The novel virus has been known to stay on surfaces and has the capability to travel multiple feet through the air, making containment require a significant amount of regular cleaning and disinfecting. Impacts of Cleaning Protocols on the Hospitality Industry is a piece that discusses how the need for sanitization on a regular basis has impacted the cleaning protocols in the hospitality industry. Constant cleaning can be problematic when businesses are trying to accommodate as many customers as possible, so to reduce the amount of sanitization necessary, they have looked for other ways to reduce the spread of germs. The article discusses how some places, such as hotels, may look different. You may now rely on touch-less technology to open your room door or find that physical menus are no longer available. You may also find sealable bags that contain items after sanitization, such as remote controls, and find that restaurants may have limited seating to keep the appropriate distance between parties. One thing is certain, the additional cleaning measures and design changes will come at a higher expense to the hospitality industry, that will be required to make these changes in order to continue doing business.

For information on the impact that the pandemic has had on the hospitality industry, the blogs listed above effectively resume the situation from changes in cleaning protocols, to design, to how the hospitality workforce and industry looks set to continue in the months to come.

About EHL Group

EHL Group is the global reference in education, innovation and consulting for the hospitality and service sector.
With expertise dating back to 1893, EHL Group now offers a wide range of leading educational programs from apprenticeships to master's degrees, as well as professional and executive education, on three campuses in Switzerland and Singapore. EHL Group also offers consulting and certification services to companies and learning centers around the world. True to its values and committed to building a sustainable world, EHL Group's purpose is to provide education, services and working environments that are people-centered and open to the world.

EHL Hospitality Business School
Communications Department
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