COVID 19 has had an unprecedented impact on the economy but, one of the sectors that have been hardest hit is the hospitality industry. This has been due to various restrictions that have led to lower or no customer occupancy in restaurants and hotels. In Nairobi, the leading tourist city in East Africa has about 80% drops in tourist hotel occupancy (Source: eTurboNews).
Travel and tourism are interrelated because the more the tourists, the higher the number of services the hospitality industry sells. According to Bloomberg, tourism represents 10% of global GDP, and it is estimated the Coronavirus will cost the global economy $ 2.7Trillion. In the worst-case scenario, it is estimated that the GDP, globally would drop by 3%.
It will be interesting to see what the Industry stakeholders have up their sleeves to keep their businesses afloat during this pandemic. They will also be engaging with various professionals that can help in the forecasting and analysis of their businesses to adapt to the current economic times and the new normal.
Even with the tough times, stakeholders need to remain relevant and generate revenue. They can achieve this by being more innovative and flexible in various ways;
- Restaurants can partner with delivery companies to get food and drinks to customers
- Despite tough times, companies can engage in helping those in need, this would be a show of goodwill to society and will help them maintain a good standing
- Hotels can offer meeting halls with Video conferencing capabilities to earn revenue for sustainability
- Promotion of Gift cards at a lower than normal rate because amidst the lockdown and restrictions people will still celebrate Birthdays, holidays and anniversaries
- Invest in SEO by creating content that will help you rank post-pandemic
- Adoption of technology such as augmented reality and virtual tours can aid a lot in marketing Kenya as a destination.
- Leveraging social media to engage and develop a relationship with customers will go a long way to market and create a personalized feel. For example, chefs developing home tutorial of signature dishes adapted for the home
- To increase accommodation facilities hotels can partner with Airbnb facilities to increase revenues
However, with a lot of job losses in the industry, many former hotel employees will venture into different hospitality services and this will lead to a rise in startups and job opportunities in the industry.
There will also be a shift to smaller events because clients have realized that it is cheaper and satisfying and that numbers don’t add value. Conferences will also reduce as the realization of webinars and online meetings can achieve the same results.
Finance, Real Estate, and SME.
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