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New Year...New Guidelines…New Business Approach?

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

Covid-19 certainly left its impact across the industry in 2020, and as we enter into this new year hotels are looking at a new set of challenges to overcome in 2021.

One challenge that 2021 has bestowed upon us is the mandatory quarantines that countries are issuing to foreign travelers. Sky News recently reported on the UK’s new guidelines and restrictions that were put into place for hotels to contain the spread of covid and its mutant strains. In this article, they go further into detail about the UK plans on containing the virus and how they plan on dealing with future travel. As of now, key figures in the decision-making process decided that this mandatory quarantine is the safest route for travel and will eventually lead to a safe and subtle reopening.

With each country having slightly different restrictions in place, travelers need to be aware of what guidelines they need to follow before booking any travel plans. For instance, the United States requires travelers coming into the country to get a negative test before and after leaving the country and also to quarantine for at least the first 7 days. While many countries have opted into this mandated quarantine period, the way in which it is enforced varies greatly. In the US, where policing is handled at the state level, the patrolling is far more relaxed than those countries (like Israel, China and Australia) that are handling it at a federal level. For them, the moment an inbound guest arrives, they are whisked away to a government selected hotel where they must ride out the required period. So what does this mean for hotels?! And how does this impact their business approach…

While these requirements may detour the demand of your average leisure guests, there is a segment of travelers who are willing to go through the trouble, because they are eager to get out. This means that the length of stay (LOS) of a leisure guest, that was once just a few days, is now more like a few weeks. Many hotel brands are shifting and creating new programs to help them adapt to this change, and maximize this new stream of revenue for extended stay travelers. Recently, there has been much momentum around the subscription trend, with hotel companies like Selina and Citizen M rolling out new monthly package options. These companies are specifically targeting travelers that can bring their work abroad, and that are looking for a change in scenery for an affordable price. Selina's Co-live program, provides guests access to its vast network of hotels around the globe, offering them accommodation, a spot in their co-working space and discounts on most of the hotel’s onsite amenities (F&B, wellness, tours) all for one set price. Guests select a region (LATAM, US, Europe), a room type (private, micro or shared), and then their dates of stay … and then once they arrive they can travel to any property included in that region over their stay period. With many companies moving to remote work permanently is this the future of hospitality?

Secondly, prioritizing safety, health and becoming more technology-dependent are no longer nice to have. If hotels want to be selected as government locations, for those mandating federal quarantine periods, they are going to need to comply with their government’s regulation and rules in order to be selected as a potential option. Why having guests confined to their room may not be the warm and welcoming way of 21st-century hospitality, it may be the most consistent revenue stream for properties in 2021.

It will be interesting to see how long these travel restrictions will be put in place before countries have to deal with the economic impact it will have. With hospitality and travel generating over 2.9 trillion dollars internationally, governments will soon realize how important it is to get these industries back. Also, with vaccines being actively delivered worldwide to our front line workers, the elderly and soon the general public the tides are bound to change and hopefully, it's in our favor.

We know that there are a lot of things that hoteliers and travelers need to be thinking about in the upcoming months… Keep connected with EPIC to stay up to date on travel trends, major policies and creative strategies to help you adapt.

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