MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It will take the hotel industry years to recover from the blow it’s taken during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The experts predict that the hotel industry will not be back to the same level you saw in 2019 until about 2022, 2023,” said Chip Rogers, American Hotel & Lodging Association president and CEO.
But with the beginning of summer just around the corner and many states across the country reopening, Rogers hopes to see things slowly begin to turn around.
“There are thousands of hotels that are closed right now and a lot of them just won’t reopen their doors,” said Rogers. “Keep in mind while leisure travel is beginning to happen -- people are excited about going on vacations -- business travel has not even yet begun to happen.”
Things will have to change for guests and employees. Rogers says several large hotel brands have already signed onto the “Safe Stay” initiative the association released. In it are guidelines for hotels to follow to keep customers and employees safe.
“All of the public spaces themselves will be cleaned on a regular routine basis,” Rogers said.
The guide recommends no-contact room service and says that if buffet service is offered food should only be served by attendants wearing PPE.
Hotels are not limiting the number of guests, and some are keeping workout rooms and pools open. There’s advice on how to keep those areas clean in the eight-page document the association released. Rogers said the list is based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, local health officials and leaders in the cleaning industry.
He is confident that the guide will lead to a safe return to normalcy.
“This is not the first time something like this has hit our industry. While this is the worst it’s ever been hit, there have been other types of viruses that hotels have had to deal with,” he said.