Covid-19 Impacts and Coping Strategies for Hospitality Industry
April 07, 2021
Dr. Emily Ma from HTM department and her colleagues conducted a study on the impacts of Covid-19 on the industry. Their study examined how two hotels in Oklahoma City had coped with challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, from day-to-day operations, health and safety measures to marketing, human resources and cost-saving strategies.
Under the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. hotel occupancy rates, ADR, and RevPAR respectively decreased to 39.4%, $110.66, and $43.54 in March, then continuously dropped to 24.5%, $73.23, and $17.93 in April, and rebounded to 33.1%, $79.57, and $26.35 in May.
The study found good practices that are valuable during the pandemic as well as in everyday hotel operations:
Maintaining financial sustainability is the most important task for hotels to survive the pandemic.
The health and safety of customers and employees should be the priority of hotels. Some examples that were applied in hotels include technology-enabled contactless check-in and check-out procedures, which are also efficient and help saving labor costs, text-messaging the front desk for service instead of talking to employees in person to minimize face-to-face contact, and Disinfecting rooms and air-conditioning units with medical-grade disinfectant.
It is important that hotels develop strong operational protocols as well as strategical plans to survive extreme crises like the COVID-19 outbreak. It is important for hotels to analyze the strengths and weakness of each market segment, assess their resiliency to crises and have a healthy mix of market segments, so that if one or two segments under-perform, hotels can still rely on others.