GMs from properties around the globe gave their thoughts on how things will change for their hotels and the industry coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
GLOBAL REPORT—Hotel GMs are starting to look ahead to how the COVID-19 crisis will change their properties and the industry as a whole.
As part of a Q&A with a GM series, Hotel News Now asked GMs around the globe what they foresee being different at their hotels and for the industry once the pandemic has passed.
“Being the only luxury hotel coming out (in Anaheim, California), opening at this time, there is an excitement out there. People want to come out and explore this. We are so looking forward to it. People will feel that there is now a place in Anaheim. There is a JW Marriott in Anaheim, as you know is our brand. The name of the founder of the company is on the building. Today we have about 89 hotels worldwide, JW-branded hotels, and a majority of those hotels are international and well-known outside the U.S. and (in) Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America.
“People when they are (finding accommodations), they are looking for that trusting brand. We definitely think this is going to go much further, those who have been waiting to (travel). A lot of people this year missed out taking those vacations. Disneyland has been closed. What we’re going to see as the (pandemic) gets behind us, there will be a significant demand. People want to come out and go to these places they have not been to for the whole year. We are looking ahead, a very, very positive future ahead of us.” –Nusrat Mirza, GM, JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort, in an interview for an article that published on 4 September 2020
“It’s not easy to answer, to have a clear vision on what will be the future. My conviction is that the human relation will be will reinforced and that we base more of our thought on the human relation, on the service, and it will be more important after this despair.
“This is certain that people will be more attentive to the welcoming and the service. For the rest, I would say probably that it will change. But it’s so difficult to know if people will travel again, as they have done before.
“My conviction is that we won’t do all the meetings at a distance, with the visual conference. I think that will we do (in-person meetings) again in a few months. It will take time, maybe one year, but people will need to meet to do some meetings together to have a relationship.
“Maybe our industry will change, and we will probably have more residential clients. Maybe it will be that the hotels will be more nice apartments that we will rent for the (longer term) and we’ll have less short stays in our hotel.
“If I am very transparent with you, some companies will transform their hotels, into offices for example. I think it’s a bad choice. All these brands, I respect their choice; they probably have good reason to do it. But in the luxury industry, I don’t think that will change the concept. As I say, we’re in for the service; we’re in for the relation. We won’t change our concept because there’s no reason to do it.
“Probably there will be less (hotels). But I’m not sure. I can’t believe that people won’t go to hotels in the next few months. At this time, most of the hotels in New York are empty; most of hotels in Tokyo are empty; most of hotels in Paris are empty. But when we reopen the border, people will travel, and will be very happy to go back to the hotels.
“We won’t forget rapidly this situation, but we will travel. And if we’re able to offer the full safety to our clients when they come, and are able to offer more service, I think we will be better.” –Jérôme Montantème, GM, Fauchon L’Hotel Paris, in an interview for an article that published on 10 September 2020
“As with other economic downturns, our industry will be forced to create efficiencies like never before. Travelers may see services being charged for when they haven’t before, like bell service to and from the guest room, or even stayover housekeeping service. I believe many of the cleanliness standards in hotels will change forever, which will benefit both travelers and hotel associates.” –Nick Moschetti, GM, Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, in an interview for an article that published on 6 August 2020
“I don't know. It’s really, really tough to say, but how we clean and the food and beverage, how we deliver food and beverage, and especially in the banquet area restaurant … it’s going to be different. It’s going to be very different. We’re going to have to take different precautions. Serve it a different way, package it a different way. And the way we clean the rooms is going to be different. It’s definitely going to be different.” –Bill Clancy, GM, Marriott Durham Research Triangle Park, in an interview for an article that published on 8 July 2020