418 worldwide luxury hospitality leaders shared their recovery insights
54% of hoteliers believe the worst of the crisis is over
63% believe business will return to sustainable levels within two years
More than a quarter report ADR above typical seasonal rates
ATLANTA — (SEPTEMBER 28, 2020) — Forbes Travel Guide releases the second of its Leading Edge of Luxury Reports, providing a global outlook from over 400 luxury establishments. The new report, collated this September, depicts how luxury hospitality is faring and modifying in response to the pandemic’s ongoing challenges. It highlights that slightly more than half of hoteliers believe the worst of the crisis is over, yet they expect that the road to recovery could be long.
84% of hotels are now fully or partially open to the public compared to 56% in the inaugural July report. Of the remaining that are closed, 63% plan on opening in the fourth quarter. 38% of respondents report delaying their re-openings, with most citing: not enough demand yet to be worth it (54%) and government travel restrictions (49%).
Although 54% believe the worst of the crisis over, many indicated that recovery won’t be easy. One hotelier said, “I think the current situation will continue for a long time, but I don’t think it will get any worse.” Another commented, “The worst is over; however, the expected slow recovery time may be worse than the outbreak.”
In the face of continued challenges, hoteliers are more determined than ever to serve clients in the best possible way. “This will be a long battle until we find the cure for the virus we continue to stay vigilant and continue to educate the team of not losing momentum in safe-guarding ourselves and our guests’ health and life by following all required procedures,” said one hotelier.
CHANGING FACE OF HOSPITALITY SERVICE
Many of the Star-Rated hoteliers have been forced to rethink all areas of their business, including operations, services, staffing, and guests. Staff has been resilient with the added components of work, according to hotel executives. 60% of respondents state their staff have coped either well or very well with the extra responsibilities due to reduced staffing, and 93% have taken to the extra cleaning procedures well or very well. When it comes to managing guests, 80% of respondents say their staff have handled enforcing health and safety procedures well or very well.
Among the numerous creative service changes noted in the survey, one hotelier said, “[We created the concept of a] ‘theatre wedding,’ with the couple on lawn surrounded by guest rooms. Wedding attendees watch the ceremony from their balconies and have drinks/canapés served to their rooms after.” Another said, “[We are] offering Roombas to clean the room, if the guests prefer no humans to enter the room during their stay.”
CHANGING FACE OF GUESTS
As more and more hotels open up to the public, there is a notable change in the guests they’re hosting. 64% have seen a higher or much higher than typical proportion of leisure guests compared to business guests. Ongoing concerns around the pandemic have also led to a 61% increase in guest telephone enquiries ahead of booking. With ever-changing travel restrictions, 78% of properties are welcoming more local and regional guests as people avoid long-distance and international travel. “People are adjusting to the new way of traveling and seem to be gaining more trust to book future travels,” said one respondent.
Filip Boyen, CEO Forbes Travel Guide said, “We’ve witnessed such tenacity from the hospitality industry despite the unending daily challenges.” He added, “yet we remain cautious, creative and steadfast in the future of luxury hospitality, however long it takes.”
To view and download the full report, please visit: www.forbestravelguide.com/survey
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About Forbes Travel Guide
Forbes Travel Guide is the only independent, global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas. Started as Mobil Travel Guide in 1958, the company created the first Five-Star rating system in the United States. Today, Forbes Travel Guide’s incognito inspectors travel the world, evaluating properties based on up to 900 rigorous, objective standards. Forbes Travel Guide also supports the hospitality industry and other service-oriented businesses such as luxury residential, healthcare and private clubs with bespoke training solutions, evaluation services and the creation of custom service standards. For more information, please visit partner.forbestravelguide.com.
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