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?
Partner and Managing Director, Kadenwood Partners
The longer this lasts -- the lockdown specifically, and then the threat of contracting Covid-19 -- the greater the likelihood that there will be more significant changes in behaviour. Certainly in the short term, when the recovery does start, large group and convention business will likely be the slowest to recover, as both travellers' willingness to meet in large groups, and corporates' ability financially to support those events will be compromised. Travelling closer to home -- staycations -- will likely surge, with drive to destinations likely to recover faster than long-haul destinations.
The recovery and health of the airline industry will be a key contributor to hospitality. The sooner that access opens, and is increased with greater airlift, the faster the recovery will begin in earnest, particularly to long-haul and international destinations. Governments will be asked to step up, especially with the flag carriers, to support the recovery of the airline industry.
Finally, hotel companies that are seen as good corporate citizens -- supporting their employees with financial aid and job reinstatement, and supporting their guests with more generous cancellation and rebooking policies -- will be remembered and rewarded.