Reprinted from Hotel News Now
Hotel News Now editors recap and relay news from across the global hotel industry, with a focus on positive, hopeful and helpful stories our readers might have missed.
GLOBAL REPORT—Hoteliers are doing their best to stay positive in the current environment and are getting creative with how they are connecting with guests.
This week’s highlights roundup includes a hotel employee who gets her miles in running at work, Philadelphia hoteliers who are confident in their “resilient destination,” hotels using virtual video tours and more.
Another component of the economy suffering is the charitable sector, of which the hotel industry is a very strong supporter. In the United Kingdom, one of the single-largest charity events is the annual London Marathon, which was scheduled for 26 April. To offset charity losses, the organizers of the 26.2-mile race asked runners to run distances that might be two of something or six of something else, or any combination of the two numbers, all to raise donations.
That idea has morphed into all manner of individual events such as swimming 2.6 miles in an endless pool or, according to Women’s Running magazine, Louise Casey who ran 525 laps of the 0.05-mile interior circuit of her place of employment, the 75-room Premier Inn Warrington Central North, near Manchester.
Casey, a member of the Widnes Running Club, is part of the hotel’s small team right now working night shifts to maintain the property, and she chose the stillness of the night to complete her feat, which she finished in a very commendable time—4 hours 27 minutes—raising close to £1,000 ($1,244).
Countless hoteliers with cooler heads are counting on positivity—with a focus on the vital role hospitality continues to play—and an eye toward the future, to see them, their properties or companies through this challenging time.
Hotel markets in the U.S. optimistic and poised for future success—once the current crisis begins to subside—include Philadelphia, reports HNN contributor Alicia Hoisington.
Reasons for this optimism include Philly’s diverse demand drivers, with its health care and education sectors, restaurants and historical sites drawing large numbers of visitors.
“Philadelphia has shown time and again that we are a resilient destination that digs deep and exhibits unstoppable ingenuity and grit when times get tough. We already have the wheels in motion to produce a strong recovery effort based off lessons learned and best practices,” said Kavin Schieferdecker, SVP of the convention division at the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We remain very optimistic that the tourism industry will come back to pre-coronavirus levels and continue the momentum and growth we had experienced as a destination over the last five to 10 years.”
Early in this crisis, I heard a speaker talk about how while hotel doors are closed, hoteliers will need to pivot from bringing guests to hotels to bringing the hotel to guests. That phrase stayed in my mind and I’ve enjoyed seeing some fun examples of what hoteliers are doing to connect with guests. A lot of it is utilitarian—many hotels have jumped to adopt virtual video tours for potential group guests, and that’s fantastic.
A lot is fun, too. This week I learned of two examples that embody that idea of bringing the hotel to guests. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts shared landscaping and gardening tips from Four Seasons properties around the world that cover everything from how to build a backyard herb garden (plus a video tour of the herb gardens at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai) to choosing the best veggies and flowers for your yard or container garden.
You can garden like a top luxury resort, and it turns out you can decorate like one, too—or just pretend. Tzveta Ivanova, executive housekeeper at the luxury Milestone Hotel & Residences in London, shared tips for decorating your home like a luxury suite. She recommends adding fresh flowers, playing around with lighting and making yourself a turndown treat. Don’t want to get that into it? Just download one of the hotel’s backgrounds for your next video call.
No, these suggestions from hotels won’t heal the sick or create a vaccine, but they’re tangible ways hotels are leaning into what they do best and continuing to share it with guests.
Could the travel industry’s recovery begin at the doors of the Mouse House? Good news comes from the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, which has resumed character dining at its Enchanted Garden Restaurant, WDW News Today reports.
Mickey, Goofy and friends have returned to making regular appearances at the restaurant, but with new social distancing guidelines in place, guests aren’t allowed to make contact with the characters.
“Characters travel through the restaurant at specified times, but guests are not permitted to make contact, instead taking photos from their tables as the characters pose from a safe distance,” WDW News Today reports.
In March, character dining resumed at the reopened Lumiere’s Kitchen at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. All Disney parks, however, are still closed due to COVID-19.