Edition: March 4, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS
- Excerpts from article by Kimberly Gore and Zach Kuperman, published on hotelmanagement.net
The hospitality industry struggled in 2021 to make a comeback after the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. As 2022 and COVID’s third year begin—heralded by another new variant; creativity, combined with a sharpened focus on risk management, will be key for navigating forward.
It’s not getting any easier. Finding qualified people is a struggle at all levels for hotels and restaurants. Tech investment can make up for some of the gap, but also heightens the risk of cyber exposure. Meanwhile, business travel is still flagging and indoor mask mandates in many regions can serve as a flash point.
The implications of it all aren’t lost on insurers. It’s increasingly common for underwriters to make on-site inspections of properties and check social media reviews for signs of potential risk. How restaurants are managing rising liquor sales is also under scrutiny, as is the diligence of hotels in taking COVID safety measures.
This year, these 4 key trends will influence hotel management as the industry works toward recovery:
1. Qualified workers will be drawn to better pay, benefits & improved job conditions.
- It’s taken a long, hard look at their value propositions for companies to counter the worrisome fact: A third of former hospitality workers will not consider returning to the industry.
- Restaurants have been especially hit hard, coming back with better pay, sign-on bonuses and improved benefits.
- Hotels are following suit to some extent. But they’ve found other solutions, too, like cutting back on housekeeping.
- Protecting those employees who do return will continue to be a big priority, especially since COVID and its variants are still here, with the likelihood of more damage.
- Improving working conditions will attract more workers as well as offset risks.
2. Technology’s role will grow — along with the risks.
- Tech solutions continue to transform hospitality.
- Starting with point of sales systems that add speed and efficiency to the sales process, inventory management and cash flow.
- During a time of curtailed face-to-face interactions, another benefit is the proliferation of apps. But the downside risks will continue to grow in 2022.
- Hardly a day passes without a new report of cyber breaches among hotels that are more vulnerable than ever to ransomware, malware, phishing and other crimes.
- Cyber attacks are not going to slow in 2022. Organisations need to understand their exposures and put safeguards in place, from firewalls to employee training on avoiding breaches.
3. Business travel will be key to reviving the sector.
- It will take a resumption of business travel to return hospitality to full health.
- That’s a slow-moving process, one that’s testing the hospitality industry’s resilience.
- Business travel, of course, keeps hotels healthy. Lack thereof, as the pandemic drags on, is holding back the rebound.
- It’s taking ingenuity to wait things out because the large business meetings and conventions that drive much of business travel are only resuming slowly.
- One pivot is to make the host hotel a “hub” from which events and local travel extend.
- Combining the “business with leisure” play is another winner, like “come early, stay late” offers that encourage longer hotel stays.
4. Disruptions from climate-change, other global events will necessitate agility.
- Weather-related catastrophes are wreaking havoc on every industry.
- Expect more of the same and be ready for the costs.
- Extreme weather disrupts every facet of the hospitality business, raising costs, interrupting operations and reducing leisure and travel.
- One way to manage risk in the resulting hard market will be to focus on water mitigation and minimising interior damages.
- But hospitality businesses that leverage catastrophe modeling to identify weather-related catastrophes will be better prepared and have a compelling management case for underwriters.
Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)