Hotels and a future full of restrictions

Restrictions to curb coronavirus infections in the state are wreaking havoc on the hotel sector. The visitor flow has fallen due to the spread of the virus and the consequent perimeter confinement and limited capacity, among other conditions. Those people who moved, on the other hand, to visit their relatives during the Christmas holidays did not mean an upturn in the occupation either. All this has been a hard blow for the professionals in the sector: it is time to make decisions. There are hotels in the area that have opted to pull down their blinds in the hope of better times. With the majority of the staff with Temporary Employment Regulation (ERTO) records, it is also more profitable to remain closed. Opening, in general, is an expense.

On the other hand, the guests traveling on business are profiles that, although they remained stable in times of Covid-19 with their certificates in order, have also gone down. In mid-January 2021, announced that the pandemic had “sunk” hotel investment in the city of Barcelona, leaving (compared to 2019) 153.7 million euros. The “standstill”, they say, is evident. The arrival of the Covid-19 has brought the expansion of many hotel chains to a standstill.  So, what future awaits hotels?

Security as a competitive factor

Nevertheless, the accommodations are doing their homework and making necessity a virtue. As we said in a previous blog post, hotels will focus, with a view to the future, on providing full security guarantees to the customer. The peace of mind factor is a competitive variable. Hand in hand with technology, they will disseminate this condition and focus their recruitment strategies in a more personalized way. The clientele, in times of Covid, also expect a treatment appropriate to this unpredictable and changing reality. So we find that guests will expect registration processes at the entrance and exit of the most rigorous.

The range of services provided by a hotel facility is key to the customer end up choosing it, in some cases, however, there is a strong dependence on the environment. There are hotels that do not have lunch and dinner services, offering only breakfast or perhaps only overnight stays. In that case, and depending on what kind of restrictions are applied to the surrounding eating areas, the hotels may have the upper hand. This is a situation that has often occurred in Covid-19 times with centrally located and locally owned hotels.

For hoteliers, the vaccine is a factor that brings hope to the current situation, although many groups are asking for a “specific vaccination plan for the sector”, as the Hosteltur website stated these days. Hotel staff are also exposed. The aim is to “minimise risks” and, given that many will be reopening in the near future, the right thing to do is to be able to do so safely.