Strategy needs to be ON even when the world is OFF
— 5 experts shared their view
It is completely understandable that most hospitality industry companies are focused on short-term survival right now. World, business and industry conditions require such attention. However, as time passes and we settle into our routines and manage to put out our most pressing fires, it will soon become time for the industry's leaders to look past the clouds of uncertainty hanging over us and take the necessary time to consider how firms need to position themselves once the pandemic crisis has abated and the world returns to normal. Strategy is about the future, and it is a mediator between the firm and the environment. It is what helps us to evolve proactively to changing conditions. Thus, while the crisis will in fact end one day (though we don't as of yet know when), it would be naïve to think that the After Corona (AC) normal will be the same as the Before Corona (BC) normal. New laws, new social norms and behaviors, changes to democracy and governmental intervention policies, employment shifts, and so on will have helped create a new world for people and firms.
The question, therefore, is what will the new normal look like in the AC world? More specifically, how will the decisions, actions and events of today shape the hospitality industry of tomorrow, and what can firms do to prepare for the changes to come?
Director – Investments at Archer Hotel Capital
A lot of different angles could be reviewed with respect to the BC/AC comparison. From an owner's perspective, the current crisis will hopefully benefit us in the long term as we are currently busy 'unfixing' some of the fixed costs of our industry. The most significant factor clearly is payroll. As Europe and the US do not seem to be as successful as some Asian countries in containing the virus we may soon find ourselves in a prolonged period of subdued hotel demand which will put increased pressure on cost containment. Hence, simplistic operating models, select, yet experience-orientated service and technical advancements (having shied away from the hotel sector so long) such as automatic check-in will hopefully become the norm more quickly than would have otherwise been the case.
Setting one's strategy in that direction could reap long-term benefits for all.