When Exactly “This” is Over
Valid short term predictions are impossible and as useless as generic advices. Attitude counts and so does the positive longterm outlook.
When will this be over? When will life for hotels be back to normal again? Hell, how often have we been asked, how often have we been seeing comments, predictions, guesses about this very question during the last weeks. And now we cannot resist to add more, to add our opinion.
No Way to Predict
And no, it is not more than an opinion, not even an “educated guess” due to the pure lack of education. It is not that we are not willing to collect and digest relevant information (educate us), but as long as leading experts in this field are contradicting each other (some) or admitting that they still have to research in order to provide clear answers (most) we just have to accept this. So how, when, and where this health crisis comes somehow to an end is hard to predict by us (understatement of the year).
And if somebody is out there who knows this (congrats), our next question would be how this all exactly affects the economy – a not to be neglected factor both for budgets (business travel) and discretionary income (leisure travel) – next understatement obviously.
Situations are very different
What bothers us also is how overly simplified many comments regarding the hotel industry are. When a comment starts with “Hotels will …” it is in most cases already wrong. Hotels and their situations are so completely different – this was always true, but is even more so nowadays. A mid-sized resort in the nature, maybe even with separated units, will have an advantage short term. If it is in the Maldives (just as an example) – well, not so much.
Hotels in cities with lots of domestic travel are in a different position than those depending stronger on international conventions. It is said that independents will struggle more than branded hotels – on the other hand, many independents are owning the property and are not constraint by debt or lease payments. Some of those are using the downtime right now for investments while some brands are affected by an overload of work managing cash flow, negotiating with many different owners and dismissing employees by the hundreds whom they struggled a lot to find one by one until just a few weeks back.
Conclusion one is, it is not a good idea yet to rely on only one short- to midterm prediction given all the uncertainty. Conclusion two is, the current situation can differ very much depending on the situation of the individual property, brand, market, location etc. So most generic advises can only be helpful to some degree.
But there are some things we can guarantee. First, crisis will always happen (that’s the bad thing). And crisis will always end (that’s the good thing). Second, attitude is always a determining factor. Be positive. Be active. Be flexible. To put it simple, continue to be an entrepreneur. Exactly then “this” is over.
PS: And third, tourism will of course continue to be a growth market longterm. A growth market in which digital tools will play a more important part than ever. Well, this last one was very easy since it is true for most parts of our lives.