As we begin March 2021, we cross over a year of COVID-19 affecting hotels. The upcoming months are fraught with a mix of questions and answers. Still, there’s hope on the horizon for hospitality.
Numerous positive signs point towards a recovery in the coming months. This despite the unknowns and challenges ahead.
In the United States, most hotels have reopened. However, group and corporate business remains low. As such, many hotels in cities like Chicago, New York, and San Francisco remain closed, but are slated to reopen in the coming months.
For leisure-focused hotels and resorts, business continues to pick up. With COVID cases trending down, vaccines distribution underway, and pent up demand growing, hotels will likely see a strong leisure business rebound this summer.
Obstacles including vaccine rollout delays and the spread of new virus variants loom. Still, overall, the mood is positive for a U.S. recovery.
In Europe, countries including Austria, Switzerland, France, and Germany currently do not allow food and beverage outlets to operate. France faces nationwide curfews along with roughly 222 cases per 100,000 COVID cases currently.
Nevertheless, there are also positive signs in Europe. In Spain and Italy, restaurants can operate for limited hours, enabling upscale and luxury hotels to also operate.
Further, the United Kingdom just announced dates for reopening. Outdoor dining will begin in April with indoor dining following shortly thereafter. The U.K.’s defined re-opening dates are a hopeful sign.
Further, the U.K. plans to provide an initial vaccine dose to every adult citizen by the end of July. After Prime Minister Boris Johnson made this recent announcement, many U.K.-based hotels saw bookings increase for approaching holidays and the summer.
Anticipating Summer 2021’s strong rebound, hotels continue to navigate the environment working to leverage automation (like cash recycling and credit card reconciliation) to reopen with an optimized workforce. The focus on automation should allow hotels to find a faster return to profitability over 2021 and the years ahead.
Overall hopeful trends indicate that global hospitality continues to move toward fully reopening, slates hospitality for a more promising 2021.