The outbreak of Coronavirus has shut many medium and small hotels. Since the aviation industry has completely shut, the flow of tourists has dropped significantly. The hotel industry has a direct connection with the aviation and tourism industry. Major nations have blocked international flights. This led to a complete dip of the flow of international tourists. Domestic tourists have been staying in their homes during coronavirus outbreak. So, the hotel industry has been facing dual hardships from the complete absence of local and international tourists. The article will provide prospects of overcoming the major challenges from the hotel industry.
Unprecedented Layoff of employees
Nearly 15% to 25% of employees have been working as contractual labor in India and their salary reimbursed weekly or daily basis. Last two months, hotels have witnessed rapid cancellations of its bookings. This led to shelving a large number of contractual laborers. Recently, we have seen the mass exodus of laborers from top metropolitan cities. Hotel chains across India are capping an option of layoffs. The wide layoffs have increased the unemployment multidimensional percentage in India. Experts anticipate the grim situation will be over after three to four months.
Loss of Revenue
According to hotelivate,(1)the hotel industry is considering a whopping loss of US$1.55 billion. The unprecedented loss of revenue accommodates 140,000 branded/organized hotel rooms across the nation. Experts estimate that there will be a 32% erosion in the overall revenue as compared to the previous year. The given losses only accommodate 5% of the lodging sector. Rest 95% encompasses bed & breakfast (B&Bs), guest houses, unbranded, and unorganized accommodation rooms. If you calculate the total loss of the hotel industry in India there will be an additional loss of US$4.7 billion to the alternate accommodation industry. So, the total loss of revenue across the accommodation industry in India would be US$6.2 billion.
Know Your Customer
It impedes that many customers are feeling insecure to lodge in the hotel. Hotels can separate the rooms for quarantine and normal uses. Millionaires and billionaires have quarantined themselves in five-star hotels with a lavish package. Hotels can take advantage of big data of customers to know their behavior. They can provide customized services by classification and management system of AI. (2)Al can help visitors with personalized options and recommendations.
Hotels Leveraging Artificial Intelligence
Dedicated mobile apps can guide the entire hotel premises. A virtual tour is the need of time. People need to know all the precautionary measures before coming for quarantine in hotels. Hoteliers can make a sound 3D virtual tour to attract customers. Machine learning can help them equip with the best services based on customer behavior data. Amazon’s AI-based cloud software service Alexa can provide voice-enabled experiences to customers. Alexa’s conversation help hotel personnel to narrow down the actual requirement. This will help hotel personnel to save time and provide smoother and convenient customer service.
Hotels can provide the initial monetary support to contractual workers as they are the backbone of the hotel industry. Hotels can file for a moratorium to their debt payments. Hotels can register to online food delivery platforms like Zomato, Swiggy, and Ubereats to provide the home delivery foods. They can also provide taxi services and itinerary planning. These efforts will help them to lessen the apathy of the COVID-19 pandemic.