Writing for ASAP, James Foice reflects on his thoughts pre-pandemic and the boom and bust that inevitably followed, and considers the next step: bouncing back.
Interestingly, he acknowledges that while the travel industry may have experienced a ‘boom’ –1.4 billion tourist visits in 2019 – the experience was not altogether positive for travellers. Yes, cheap flights, accommodation and share economy offerings brought cash savings, but travellers paid a high price for affordability. Often, it was their safety and the overall experience that was compromised to ensure lower rates as suppliers raced each other to the bottom.
Things clearly needed to change, and the current pandemic will undoubtedly ensure it does. But how that change occurs is just as important. The serviced accommodation sector has a “unique opportunity,” as Foice says, to “re-set” hospitality and travel.
The serviced accommodation sector has demonstrated its professionalism and integrity, quickly pivoting to support the vulnerable and key workers in need of accommodation during the lockdown. And as it readies itself for the return of travel, efforts are directed at future-proofing and safeguarding. But the time has come not just to make changes to the way things are done, but to lead the change. To set an example, industry-wide and beyond, that traveller wellbeing should be at the centre of all that we do.
As Foice writes, “It’s an opportunity to make things better for the long term,” and we couldn’t agree more.
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