From the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, the lodging industry turned to technology to solve immediate challenges. The very nature of hospitality can make a hotel vulnerable to cyberattacks. As the industry adopts new technology to help it recover from the coronavirus crisis and economic downturn, the threats are greater and the number of attacks are growing. The good news is for as many nefarious ways cybercriminals can strike, there are corresponding solutions. Episode 338 of Lodging Leaders podcast focuses on the pervasive cyber threats the hospitality industry faces as it deploys technology to modernize its business processes and improve guest experiences.
More than 1,700 hotels in the U.S. closed in spring 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. At the end of August, 1,200 were closed, reported Kalibri Labs. Meantime, 840 new hotels opened last year and 900 are on track to open this year, according to Lodging Econometrics. Episode 337 of Lodging Leaders explores the challenges owners faced in reopening closed hotels as well as what owners and operators did to ramp up business at hotels that were at such low levels of occupancy, they might as well have been closed. We also feature owners who opened new properties during the pandemic. One owner we interviewed opened two new hotels while doing what it took to keep his existing properties in business. This report is part of our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.