The U.S. hotel industry has begun its comeback as all states are reopening their economies. The numbers show that occupancy is slowly but steadily increasing as hotels get back to business. But, to be sure, it is not business as usual.
Relatively few hotels completely closed during the coronavirus pandemic. More than 80 percent remained open and found themselves serving essential workers, housing vulnerable populations or being transitioned into health care facilities. During this time, hotel owners and operators have discovered and introduced new health and safety protocols into their standard operating procedures.
This is probably reassuring to current guests, but it’s easy to be fooled into complacency.
People planning leisure or business trips this summer might believe every hotel and motel in America has undergone deep cleaning and now practices heightened housekeeping protocols. But one hotel CEO Lodging Leaders interviewed says he recently discovered that’s not so, and fears lackadaisical owners are in danger of losing their businesses to the coronavirus.
In this episode, Lodging Leaders looks at the new standard of clean and steps the industry is taking as a whole to reassure the public their properties are safe. We also talk to an industry supplier and other advisers who stress the importance of following product instructions and on documenting the steps your staff is taking to clean and sanitize your hotel.
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Ginny Morrison of Evanston, Illinois, is a 33-year veteran of Spire Hospitality, a hotel management company with a portfolio that spans coast-to-coast. As vice president of sales and marketing, Morrison saw the coronavirus pandemic decimate the meetings business. More than a year later, she’s witnessing a comeback as small-meeting planners are actively booking events for the last half of 2021 and beyond. As public health agencies expand COVID-19 vaccination programs across the U.S. and states ease up on public-gathering restrictions designed to keep the virus at bay, the hotel industry is seeing small meetings begin a comeback. In Episode 317, Long Live Lodging covers the state of the small-meetings sector and how hotels can grab their share of the meetings business during and post-pandemic. This report is part of our ongoing coverage about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the hospitality industry.
The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference will be the industry’s first large event to be held during the coronavirus pandemic. The Atlanta event will be a hybrid format of in-person and virtual access, also an industry first. Lee Hunter, chairman of the conference, knows the level of expectation is high among other conference planners as well as industry professionals eager to network after more than a yearlong hiatus. Episode 316 of Lodging Leaders podcast features Hunter as he tells what it takes to re-launch the industry’s conference circuit amid the COVID-19 outbreak.