The global pandemic of coronavirus has impacted modern society in countless ways. The outbreak of coronavirus has a major effect on the hospitality and tourism industry on a global level. This global pandemic and its spreading consequences have instigated critical responses by the government. These responses include traveling restrictions, social distancing, lockdown, etc. Due to these critical responses, businesses and industries from all around the world have suffered. Most significantly the hospitality and tourism business has suffered a lot because of this crisis. Therefore, the tourism industry and academia are devising new management and operational strategies to reopen their hospitality business in the Covid-19 pandemic. This paper will examine the new strategies devised by the hospitality, tourism industry, and academic field to overcome the challenging situations caused by the global pandemic.
Strategies in hospitality and tourism against pandemic
The global pandemic has instigated many crucial implications of quarantine, traveling restrictions, border closings, social distancing, and event cancellations on a global level. The hotels, lodges, and restaurants are either shut down or forced to limit their operational management for home deliveries and take-away by following strict standard operating procedures prescribed by the government and World Health Organization. The hospitality and tourism business has slowly started its reopening process as the government is easing the lockdown.
The major step taken to revive the tourism industry is by introducing immunity passports in the society. A person can get an immunity passport by getting vaccinated. The person can travel with this passport by strictly following all the standard operating procedures against covid-19. The introduction of an immunity passport has given an immediate boost for people to travel around while following particular guidelines (wearing a mask, social distancing, sanitization, avoiding public gatherings, etc.). Furthermore, the tourism industry and the government cooperatively have introduced new policies for their hotels, traveling, lodges, and restaurants. The major strategies are following:
- Limited capacity at a time in hotels and restaurants
- Allowing din-in for restaurants with restricted capacity and emphasizing take-away and home deliveries
- Provision and implication of strict social distancing godliness
- Following S.O.Ps provided by the World Health Organization
- Regular medical testing of Staff and educating them with these new rules and regulations
- The compulsion for the staff to use the personal protective equipment (PPE) while working
- An immediate implication of strict protocols for the guests/ customers sick or exposed to coronavirus
- Strict use of sanitization and UV light to disinfect the physical spaces and guests/ customers (Jung & Legg, 2020)
Hospitality and tourism businesses are implicating these operational changes to guarantee their customer’s protection and increase their customer’s will to visit their place. Many scholars and researchers like Jain are working to analyze the effect of coronavirus on the hospitality and tourism industry and providing sustainable and resilient strategies. Conferring to Jain’s recommendations, the restaurants can increase their demand (customers) by introducing the following strategies:
- Open-air sitting (e.g. Island) arrangement to allow adequate social distancing.
- Introduction of live cooking counters to convince customer’s confidence.
- Strict following of S.O.Ps prescribed by WHO against the pandemic.
- Strict attention towards personal hygiene.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided a strict guideline for assisting the hospitality and tourism industry during this global pandemic with the title of “Operational Considerations for COVID-19 Management in the Accommodations Sector”. This report includes the guidelines for “hotel management team, reception, technical and maintenance services, cleaning and housekeeping, and recreational areas for children”(“Operational Considerations for COVID-19 Management in the Accommodation Sector”, n.d.) to assist the hospitality business for their operational management during Covid-19.
Strategies in Academia of Hospitality and Tourism against Covid-19
The global pandemic of coronavirus has a significant impact on hospitality and tourism education. This pandemic has introduced crucial challenges to the educational system. The higher education in the field of hospitality and tourism is immensely affected by covid-19 forcing it to operate by online classes
For instance, the journal of Hospitality Marketing and Management is working on devising new strategies and models to develop the hospitality and tourism industry in the business environment of Covid-19. The academia of hospitality and tourism is introducing new sustainable and resilient strategies for healthy and prosperous tourism during and after covid-19. The academic field of the hospitality and tourism industry is teaching and training its students/ workers with these new improvised strategies. The workers are taught to analyze their customers, opportunities provided by Covid-19, and efficiently run their business during the pandemic. Furthermore, the students and workers are taught to restructure their spaces to ensure adequate social distancing for the tourists. The academia of hospitality and tourism is teaching new framework models including anti-pandemic processes, principles, and strategies revolving around different disaster management phases.
The government and the hospitality industry are taking significant measures to open their business and fight against Covid-19. However, the hospitality business requires immense attention towards devising and implementing new policies against Covid-19. The hospitality business should involve the use of the latest technologies (Robots, Online home delivery applications, automatic answering systems, online payments, etc.) for their take-away and in-service deliveries in restaurants to reduce human interaction. The hotel management should use online systems to deal with their guests. In this way, the hospitality and tourism industry will instigate more confidence in their customers to din-in and stay at their hotels and restaurants.
In a nutshell, the crucial implications due to Covid-19 have posed a significant threat to the hospitality and tourism industry. After a significant loss in their economy and business, the hospitality industry is implementing improvised crisis management policies and resilient strategies to reopen their tourism business. The hospitality and tourism business is implementing all these new strategies and policies to stabilize their industry.
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Operational considerations for COVID-19 management in the accommodation sector: Interim guidance. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2021, from https://www.who.int/publications-detail-redirect/operational-considerations-for-covid-19-management-in-the-accommodation-sector-interim-guidance