Outgoing BWH Hotel Group President and CEO, David Kong.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on our industry and global community with a human and economic toll that is truly catastrophic. Throughout this pandemic, our industry has stood shoulder-to shoulder, weathering this unrelenting storm together.

Additionally, hoteliers across the globe have shown their spirit of caring in profound ways from providing a safe home away from home for frontline workers, supporting their local communities, and caring for the wellbeing of their guests and associates. From the earliest days of the pandemic, our industry came together to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of our guests and hotel teams.

BWH Hotel Group, in concert with leading global health organisations and the scientific community, launched the ‘We Care Clean’ program. This program ensures an even higher level of cleaning standards and operational best practices at each of our properties across the globe. We Care Clean addresses everything from guest room and common area cleanliness, to streamlined processes that minimise contact between guests and associates while maintaining industry-leading customer service. I am grateful to our hoteliers for embracing this program at their hotels.

Best Western Plus Bolton on the Park, in Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Despite their own professional and personal hardships, their top priority throughout this crisis remains the safety of their guests and employees. As a global hotel company, the pandemic has had a significant impact on our development efforts. Many hotels have remained closed due to governmental restrictions and a loss of business. There is also a great deal of uncertainty in the current environment which is causing hotels to become more hesitant in their decision making. While there is a pressing need to recover from historic declines, hotels are also in many ways risk adverse.

Nevertheless, we see great opportunities in the years ahead as hotels evaluate their situations. For example, independent hotels may be more inclined to seek the resources of a large hotel brand (for example, sales and marketing tools and staffing, a robust loyalty program, and strong booking engine) to help recover their losses. Likewise, hotels already branded may seek to reaffiliate with more proven brands that can assure them of their business recovery.

For more from David Kong, see Page 32 in the February issue of HM – CLICK HERE.