A return to travel can’t be underwhelming
A return to travel can’t be underwhelming
12 JUNE 2020 7:19 AM

A byproduct of adjusting to a new way of life is people learning what they can and can’t live without. The hotel industry needs to go out of its way to make sure it’s not part of the former group.

Hoteliers around the globe are united in the desire to get back to running profitable businesses.

It’s long been a business truism that you can’t cut your way to profitability, but hoteliers have been forced to do something akin to that, by trimming down operations to bare bones to stem the cash bleeding and survive as long as possible.

But it’s worth keeping in mind that this isn’t going to be a long-term or sustainable business practice. The past few months have been instructive to a lot of people on an individual basis in terms of what they miss about a more normal way of life, and for many, it has underscored how much they value the ability to travel.

Imagine for a moment being a potential traveler, stuck at home for weeks and months with an ever- increasing desire to get out and experience the world, whose first hotel experience when they get back on the road is stripped of what the industry could offer.

Hoteliers love to point to a belief in significant pent-up demand among the traveling public as a sign they will experience a rebound as soon as it’s feasible—i.e. once there is medical treatments or vaccines that significantly reduce the risks of COVID-19.

But the thing that goes hand in hand with that ever-building desire to travel is heightened expectations. Imagine how you’d feel going into a trip expecting an experience that is transcendent and instead get something that is passable.

The major obstacle is obviously hoteliers, by and large, are unable to spend their way to a superior experience at this point.

So what I’ll leave you with here, my ultimate call to action, is to spend some amount of your bandwidth reimagining how you can reshape the hotel experience not just to trim costs or lessen worries about cleanliness but to heighten the experience in real tangible ways.

We’re all aware that the way things were always done isn’t going to cut it going forward in both big ways and small, but that doesn’t have to mean a new way of doing things can’t be significantly better both for hoteliers and guests.

What do you think? Let me know via email or on Twitter.

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