If the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008/09 serves as reference, it will take the hospitality industry 24 months to get occupancy levels back to pre-corona levels, and hopefully soar thereafter. Despite the similarities in terms of the economic impact, this time it will be a bit different. The psychology behind resuming travel will not just be influenced by economic forces, but by safety concerns. Plain and simple, we will fear traveling and therefore avoid it, until we feel is safe again.
Removing that fear will trigger some changes in the industry itself. Hotels will need to setup protocols and standards to improve health safety, and advertise them so that customers know they care. In a way they are already doing it. “Marriott Rolls Out ‘Hospital-Grade Disinfectant’ In Hotels For Next-Level Cleanliness” reads a recent Forbes Magazine headline.
Another interesting move came from Hertz, announcing that before we rent any vehicle from them, they are cleaned and disinfected to follow CDC guidelines with a 15-point cleaning process. Hertz now uses its Total Disinfectant and seal to make us feel safer.
Hard Rock Stadium announced this week that it became the first public facility to receive a GBAC STAR™ accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association. This initiative will serve to implement gold standard of cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention work practices to control risk associated with infectious agents.
Seems like the strategy is to take all necessary steps to make facilities safe, and to make sure potential travelers know about it. So that when they decide to start traveling again they know where to go.
They will also need to adapt their spaces to accommodate those protocols and standards. Here is where us at FF&E can help. Headboards made more of solid surfaces rather than upholstery for easy cleaning and disinfecting. The use of vinyl fabrics for the same reasons. Offering furnishings that retain functionality but allow for more spacing and easy cleaning. Not to mention new gadgets to allow doors to open without touching the handle, hand sanitizers for indoors and outdoors, larger in-room tables for room services, etc.
The Hospitality industry is responding, it is our job at the FF&E industry to stand ready to support them with products and services to fit these new needs.