Times may be tough, but they’ve brought us all together in unexpected ways. As we forge ahead, let’s be mindful of the good deeds and helping hands that will get us through this downturn.
In this blog, we’ve tried to highlight how some hotels are going above and beyond for their employees and their guests during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How some major hotel brands are helping their employees stay afloat
Because of coronavirus, many hotels have had to lay off and temporarily cut staff. To assist their employees during this time, some have set up GoFundMe pages. Hilton, though, has gone one step further. They’re partnering with major companies around the country that are actively hiring short-term employees, like Amazon and CVS, to place staff who have been furloughed.
“When we learned other leading companies were stepping up their hiring to meet pandemic-related demand, Hilton was eager to partner with them to provide expedited access to opportunities for our team members,” says Hilton President and CEO, Christopher J. Nassetta.
Other hotel brands are following suit: Accor Hotels Group has launched an “ALL Heartist Fund” to assist the group’s 300,000 employees, pledging to pay for their COVID-19-related hospital expenses, as well as those furloughed employees suffering great financial distress, and those who do not have social security or medical insurance. Additionally, the group will further deploy its solidarity initiatives to support frontline healthcare professionals and non-profit organisations.
Rosewood Hotel Group has launched Rosewood Raise Associate Relief Fund to support associates whose jobs have been most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, those facing financial difficulties due to health-related needs, as well as local communities that have been especially affected by the pandemic.
Hotels and destinations offer virtual wellness retreats
Instead of their usual on-site activities, many hotels and resorts in Asia are offering free wellness retreats to help guests stay strong, robust and resilient during these uncertain times. They’re adapting to new circumstances and engaging with guests online and teaching them virtual yoga, fitness, spiritual and healthy lifestyle online experiences.
is offering a free virtual 20-minute yoga sequence by their resident yoga teacher, Danielle Davis. They have also launched a new online wellness store, a curation of spa essentials so guests can continue their self-care regime at home.
Indonesia’s award-winning luxury surf wellness destination, Nihi Sumba, have launched Nihi@Home daily self-care practices to help their customers achieve a balanced immunity. The new holistic wellness program has been designed to support the immune system, foster a positive state of mind and promote better health. The program is live-streamed on Facebook and Instagram and offers meditation, breathwork, reiki, and kids yoga.
Tokyo ‘quarantine hotels’ welcome contactless help
A Tokyo hotel – located in the Ryogoku area– took swift action as the pandemic was in its early stages by adding ‘Pepper’, a virus-killing robot to enhance the property’s disinfectant process.
The Ryogoku hotel, which has been converted into a quarantine hotel can accommodate 300 people. A cleaning humanoid robot with the latest in Artificial Intelligence has been deployed to clean several parts of the hotel, including riskier “red zone” areas where staff access is limited.
“The patients are quarantined for two weeks, so we’re using a reception robot to help patients feel a bit more mentally comfortable,” Tokyo government spokeswoman Naoko Kubota told reporters.
Hotels in Asia offer quarantine packages
Thailand’s A-One Hotels Group has rolled out a self-quarantine package at its Bangkok and Pattaya hotels, as a means to attract bookings. These packages are targeted at Thais or residents who wish to isolate themselves for 14 days. As part of the package, meals are delivered to the rooms on trolleys, while dishes, cutlery and bedsheets used by guests in self-isolation will be separated for special handling. A special team has been deployed to provide daily housekeeping services and help monitor the conditions of the guests under quarantine.
The Park Hotel Group in Singapore has also launched a packaged stay inclusive of three daily meals. The package is priced at special rates so it can only defray some operating costs.
Other hotels in different regions around the world are offering self-quarantine packages with reduced rates for 14-day stays, no-contact food delivery and room service, and transportation to local hospitals when necessary.
Great ideas from CSN insights:
Planners are still planning
As good works help us weather the storm, great ideas empower us to thrive and move towards a better day. Our great idea to focus on this week is staying visible on sourcing networks and via search because last month, about $1 billion in sourcing value flowed through the Cvent Supplier Network (CSN).
Even though large gatherings and in-person events are on indefinite hold, planners are still planning and sourcing for future events. Close to 75% RFP’s sent in March were for events planned in Q4 2020 or Q1 2021. Make sure you keep your CSN profile up-to-date with critical information planners are looking for as they continue to submit RFPs for future events and check-in to see if your hotel is active.
Events are shifting to later in the year
While March did see a surge in RFP withdrawals as planners had to cancel or postpone events, April saw withdrawals at a level more similar to what we’re used to seeing at this point in the year. This could indicate that planners maybe being more judicious now and are making sure they’re confident of the event happening before submitting an RFP.
Since mid-March, the sourcing that has taken place is oriented toward events for September-December 2020 and into 2021 – in fact, it’s in a way that’s highly unusual for this early in the year. We’re seeing the longest average booking windows we’ve ever seen.
RFP response rates are down – but the opportunities are there
It’s also important to note that hotel response rates to RFPs are down. Hotels are responding to RFPs, but not as well as they typically do. At Cvent, we’re doing anything we can to help hotels cope with resource shortages, including providing assistance where needed with responding to RFPs.
We recently hosted the first of a monthly series of webinars dedicated to providing insights – just like the ones above – on the group business landscape as you plan for a rebound to your meetings and events business.
The webinars are based on proprietary data from the Cvent Supplier Network (CSN), overall meetings and events trends, and observations from proven third-party experts in the hospitality space. We’ll also include inspiring stories about the good works and great ideas currently driving the hospitality community forward.