The Organization of Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) held its webinar “Where and What to Do From Here? Post COVID- 19 Virus Challenges for Hotel Sales and Marketing”. The talk was about the post COVID- 19 challenges of hotels and resorts in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and an update on what are the woes and actions of the hotel and resort industry in the time of the pandemic. It focused on four topics:
- An update about different hotels in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in terms of occupancy, revenue, employees’ welfare, and the sanitation and protocols from Department of Health
- The adaptation of the hotel and resort industry to the new normal
- The issues and challenges of hotel sales and marketing
- The action plans of hotel and resort industry
The directors and managers of different hotels in the Philippines gave an update on what is currently happening in their hotels and resorts. They talked about the different hotels who were identified by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as quarantine facilities, wherein strict sanitation and hygiene protocols of the Department of Health (DOH) must be observed. In addition, they discussed their increasing occupancy rate due to the bookings of BPO’s/call centers, and manufacturing companies. There was also an increase of demand from seafarers and foreigners who were stranded because of the cancellation of flights and of their hotel employees.
As part of the adaptation of the new normal, the speakers emphasized that the hotel industry must strictly follow the rules and guidelines to survive this pandemic. They also started utilizing online social media platforms to connect and communicate. Some of the hotels in Mindanao are selling packed meals to ensure continuous cash flow and to help sustain their daily expenses.
The issues that hotels are facing right now are the definite change in consumer behavior, and who will be their market as they move forward. Since the consumers preference are changing, the hotels also need to adjust. There were major refunds that happened in the past months that left an unstable revenue to the hotels.
With the current issues and challenges, they came up with several action plans such as:
- Having stable internet and improved digital marketing is on the top of the list. Web and social media platforms are the current effective tools for consumer engagement. Constant communication with consumers may it be through social media, emails or calls is vital to keep the business running. Promoting positivity amidst the pandemic is the main focus.
- Plans to create hygiene protocols task force to craft safety guidelines and other protocols was also brought up.
- Focus on operational efficiency through workshop and retraining programs.
The webinar emphasized important suggestions for the hotel and resort industry. It highlighted resilience, recovery and innovation as values to consider and incorporate to move forward. With the aim of promoting Bayanihan, we will all heal as one.