In the times of worldwide pandemic, which feels like endless doom, the sole thought of staying in a hotel sends bursts of joy down my spine.
From the sheer indulgence of emptying out an overpriced minibar to rolling into the crisp, clean bedsheets, and joining your travel companions at a breakfast buffet just before the new day’s adventure begins, the things we took for granted are now something we’d be privileged to have.
So let’s dive deep into the nostalgia of a pre-pandemic world and the hopes that travelling without the viral anxiety awaits around the corner. Today, Bored Panda has compiled a perfectly indulgent list of the most clever, simple, and creative solutions installed at hotels that put the hospitality business in a well-deserved spotlight.
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Blessed Hotel Staff
Nobody could have guessed the level of crisis the hospitality industry would find itself in when the pandemic started. At the peak of the coronavirus crisis, many compared it with the black-swan events society has experienced before. Black Swans like the coronaviruses (COVID-19, SARS, H1N1) or the September 11th attacks are rare, unpredictable evens which dramatically alter history, the economy, and society.
But although cyclical in the past, the hotel industry has realized that this time, it’s something they haven't experienced before at such length. It wasn’t deep, but ultimately a short disruption before things got back to normal.
On the contrary, as we sadly commemorate the 1-year birthday of coronavirus, hoteliers around the world had no idea when it’s going to end. Many businesses were forced to shut their doors, while others are hanging in there while applying protective measures and the new pandemic normality as part of their regulatory policy.
To find out how exactly the worldwide pandemic has affected the hotel industry across the country, Bored Panda reached out to Niki Reading, the representative of Washington Hospitality Association.
“The hotel industry in Washington was hit by COVID just as the busy summer tourism months would have begun. This impacted revenue per room significantly. As of February 2021, the most recent date for which statistics are available, revenue was down 53.6% from the same time last year.”
Meanwhile, in the 4th quarter, “lodging in Washington saw a loss in sales of $629 million, or 59 percent under the previous year. Seattle was the worst hit among any West Coast city, with an occupancy rate of 36.1 percent,” Niki added.
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Niki also explained that many people don’t realize that motels and hotels—even major franchises—are owned and operated by local families. “These aren’t mega corporations—they are family businesses that have been decimated,” she concluded.
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But now that the weather is finally getting warmer and more and more people are getting vaccinated, hotels are slowly but steadily regaining their relevancy.The hotel industry just had its highest occupancy levels in the past two weeks since the start of the Covid pandemic last March, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts CEO Geoff Ballotti told CNBC.
“These last two weeks ... have been the highest two weeks of occupancy in our industry since last March and to see occupancy levels now back to 85% of where they were in 2019 is impressive,” Ballotti added.
The hotel chains are among the few fortunate ones who could afford surviving an almost no-guest period which lasted way longer than anyone could have expected. The implementation of vaccine passports also gives hope for the hotel industry.
“I think the industry certainly needs to develop a uniform digital health credential on testing,” Ballotti said. “That could make travel easier, that could make travel safer.”