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  • Jay Jhingran

Blog: Crises Management from a Hotel General Manager’s point of view. Covid 19 situation and beyond!

A crisis is defined as a time of intense difficulty, trouble or danger.

Crisis Management in a hotel can be broken down into: a. on the spot or immediate/momentarily and b. beyond momentarily. Being public spaces, “incidents”, as we Hoteliers call them, could happen often, from a few times a day or then depending on the situation in other frequencies.

On the spot incidents requiring immediate reaction range from matters such as fire-alarms, elevator entrapments, guest or staff injuries, power black outs, air-condition breakdowns, leakages, alleged food poisonings, enraged and loud guests in public areas to even deaths, terrorist attacks, earth quakes, bomb threats and much more.

Incidents that fall into the “not on the spot” category are global or regional happenings. From regional wars, currency fluctuations and financial breakdowns, Pandemics, regional natural disasters, military coups etc. The current COVID-19 pandemic is one such case. Hoteliers are doing a great job of executing the following points whilst remaining calm and composed:

1. Communicating how guests and staff are being protected and how the hotel is contributing to better public health and job safety. This is allowing hoteliers to stay in close touch with their customers.

2. Presenting clear guidelines on deferment of travel and cancellation policies.

3. The Response team is set up and includes operational steps as well as potential revenue generating streams. Most of these streams are local and involve the immediate community.

4. Planning cash flows and are in open discussion with owners and investors on liquidity planning and falling back on any government related subsidies.

5. Anticipating further Supply chain disruptions

6. Reviewing their existing business continuity plans that act as a basic and are then being adapted to this current situation.

7. General Managers are advising all stakeholders: teams, guests, owners and corporate offices about what they are doing to mitigate losses. There will always be the conflict of having to make hard decisions as a responsibility and contractual agreement towards owners and investors or then ideally finding ways to support, help and sustain existence of the local community as well as your own business ( with support from the owners and investors).

Now what exactly are we learning from this Pandemic and how could it affect the way we travel and entertain ourselves in the future?

In a nutshell, currently everything “Mass” is a problem. Mass gatherings of people are being prohibited as it is leading to the spread of the virus. Likewise, one reads that viruses are here to stay or evolve with regularity. For starters, and as far as travel is concerned, once regions in the world settle down again and travel does begin to occur, individuals will begin to venture out first versus groups of people. This might be the way to go or correct the wrong doings leading to “Over Tourism” in the past. Whilst this may be the right way to go, what will happen to large social gatherings, weddings, birthday bashes, rock concerts and other stadium gatherings?

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