While the economy is taking a downward spiral thanks to the Coronavirus, one of the sectors
that will be hit the most is the hospitality business. Experts are already stating that the hotel
industry could see the loss of 4 million jobs. How is the Coronavirus impacting the hospitality
business and is there a way that it can be saved? This article will discuss the issue.
People aren’t traveling. With many countries locking down and closing their borders in an effort
to quarantine themselves, hotel owners and employees no longer have people staying with
them. The biggest question is how long the travel restrictions will last. The President is hoping
for about 30 days, but experts suggest that it should be much longer.
Some people aren’t so sure that a month is going to be all it takes. The idea behind travel
restrictions is to help stop the spread of the virus from reaching other countries. It also helps
keep the virus from further penetrating the country through tourists. Until travel is allowed for the
general public again, it’s likely that the hotel industry is going to continue to suffer. More layoffs
are likely to happen.
Another big industry being hit is airlines. Thanks to the travel restrictions, they have no one to fly
across the country or world. Experts are saying that airlines could lose around $113 billion in
Besides travel restrictions, those who are able to travel are opting not to. Considering that
airplanes are enclosed spaces, it’s understandable that they’re worried about possibly becoming
ill. Yet this combined factor is causing many airlines to fire employees. Some have even been
forced to shut down their business entirely.
With the increased focus on staying at home and social distancing, the restaurant industry is
suffering. Restaurants have had to change their business model, many shifting to only curbside,
take out, or delivery. Research shows that dining out has dropped more than 50% in states
where it is still legal to dine out. Restaurants are removing seating, changing hours, shifting to
credit/debit only, etc. Niche restaurants have lost all of their clientele. This has led to the loss of
thousands of jobs in the industry. With the uncertainty ahead, the lucky restaurants are reporting
merely the loss of revenue due to canceled catering and events, while others have had to lay off
staff and close restaurants entirely.
This virus has hurt millions of people around the world, and continues to do so in the restaurant
industry. With the loss of thousands of jobs, restaurants are still trying to show their care for
employees. Ayza, a wine and chocolate bar in NYC, now has 30 employees with no income and
has begun a GoFundMe for their team. Many restaurants have begun to follow this model, in
order to give at least some economic assistance to their dear employees.
Lots of people love to travel by ocean. With huge cruise ships that offer practically every kind of
entertainment, it’s understandable why so many people love to go on a cruise. However, just
like the rest of the hospitality business, cruise lines are suffering thanks to the Coronavirus.
Some of these issues are because of travel restrictions. The ships are unable to travel to the
ports that they normally do thanks to a need for quarantining.
Another reason is health. While a cruise ship offers more space than an airliner, it’s still a
closely condensed group of people. There’s no better example of what can happen in such a
scenario than what happened with the Ruby Princess.
Four people aboard the ship were suspected to be suffering from the Coronavirus. Yet that ship
managed to travel from New Zealand and port at Sydney, disembarking all of its passengers
and crew members. While the government is currently trying to contact all of those aboard, it’s
likely that the spread of infection has reached beyond their grasp to control at this point. Even a
number so small as four people can potentially infect an entire cruise liner.
Thanks to the travel restrictions and most people being wary of falling prey to the virus by being
enclosed on a ship with an infected person, cruise lines are likely going to hurt for the next few
months as well. As the seasons turn warmer, it’s primetime for cruises to begin.
However, unless the virus is handled and people are allowed to travel freely again, cruise lines
may miss out on their biggest opportunities for profit.
How the Hospitality Business Could Recover
Experts believe that it could take the hospitality business around five years to recover. They
estimate that most Americans will start using hotels regularly again after two years.
Before then, they’re likely going to choose to remain home. Fears of another spread of infection
will be the leading cause. However, once they start using hotels and traveling further from home
for their vacations, the hospitality business will finally start to recover. As a consumer, be on the
lookout for cheap flights, cruise deals, vacation packages, etc. as businesses everywhere will
be trying to recoup their losses.
By year five, they’ll be in a better position than they used to be. Some hotels may be lost during
the recovery period. Chains may take a look at how their hotels are performing and cut loose
the ones that aren’t bringing in profits. Others may only need to close temporarily.
While the virus is hitting the hospitality sector hard, it’s only ever temporary.
by Lindsey Patterson