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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Nicolas Graf, associate dean, clinical professor and chair of New York University’s Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, will soon unveil the school’s new Hospitality Innovation Hub. Departure from the norms of doing business is key to the post-pandemic survival and success of the hospitality industry, says Graf. Companies that offer flexibility in thought and practice among employees will go a long way in leading the industry’s post-pandemic recovery. Episode 331 of Lodging Leaders explores what it will take for owners, operators and others invested in the industry to attract and retain bright young talent who can help build modern and sustainable hotel business models.
Bijal Patel, 31, is CEO of Coast Redwood Hospitality and the youngest chair of the California Hotel & Lodging Association. He’s made even more history at CHLA by agreeing to serve an unprecedented second term as the lodging industry emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. Patel is a third-generation hotelier. Being so steeped in hospitality at such a young age is not new for members of the Indian American hotelier community, but Patel fears the pandemic has drained the industry of emerging talent. Lodging Leaders spotlights Patel, who represents a leadership demographic that is fighting for the life of the hospitality industry as they watch their peers veer toward other career paths.