In Step: Owners and Operators moving forward, together (or not)
— 11 experts shared their view
The Current COVID-19 crisis has put incredible strains on hotel owners, operators and managers. Steps to alleviate the current pain points are well noted - fee reductions/deferrals, closing of properties, reduced staffing and services - but these are likely not sustainable over a long period. Still, solutions to the problem created by drastically reduced occupancy and rates are required.
Hence, the question is what do you believe are the most important steps/accommodations (a) owners and (b) operators can/should take to establish an even stronger relationship that will better enable their hotels to (1) recover from the current crisis in a timely manner and (2) better withstand future crises.
General Manager at The Bürgenstock Selection
The unexpected arrival and consequences of the pandemic for owners, operators and managers (OOMs) has shifted focus from just running a profitable business and generating net returns for owners, operators and managers to now having to secure long term liquidity and to a large extent even solvency for the business. The race for survival has already started and in this race each party can only survive longer if they can meet and strive in the following environment: effective governmental support systems, strong balance sheet of their business and a mind set that previous responses to world crisis are not enough and a complete new approach is required so that all parties come out of the crisis in a stronger position than before they entered the pandemia. The longer the pandemia lasts - and that is a real possibility - the more these support systems will be strained and alone are not enough to ensure survival.
OOMs can only achieve this gargantuan task if they work closer and more transparent together than ever before. Each party will have to understand what the other party requires in order to survive as a business whilst ensuring that their own business model does not become an "endangered spieces". It will require relinquishment of certain table stakes that underly and support the different business models. OOMs need - at least for the time that the pandemia dictates the travel terms - align their own rules and contractual terms between them in order to secure survivability for all. This has to remain priority number one and only then new and better adapted business models in response to such drastic events can develop. There is no winner in this race if one benefits to the detriment of the other party and only then will stronger relationships between all stakeholders emerge to better withstand such crisis in the future.