Three national lockdowns, a ban on leisure vacations, heavily reduced business/essential travel and a steep decline in tourist numbers rendered the hospitality industry one of the financially hardest hit sectors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, tourism leaders appealed for more government assistance than the furlough support schemes afforded, as hoteliers were, “burning cash” whilst they remained closed. Hotels, hostels, B&Bs and boutiques received the green light to reopen after May 17th, 2021, with certain constraints remaining in place. Restrictions on household mixing and numbers were eventually lifted on July 19th this year, during step 4 of the UK government’s lockdown exit roadmap, allowing businesses who managed to survive the pandemic to reopen their doors to leisure guests once more. But what has been the cost?
Total hospitality sector sales are down by £72 billion, from a total of £131.9 billion in 2019. The Guardian report it could take the UK hotel industry four years to restore such levels of pre-pandemic business. Sadly, the financial worries experienced by the industry do not end here…
Around 530,000 people in England and Wales received isolation alerts via the NHS Test and Trace app in the first week of July this year, and more than 1 million children in England were absent from school due to COVID-related reasons between 12-16th July leaving disappointed families seeking refunds for their staycations, or erring on the side of caution and not booking a holiday for fear of losing deposits. However, “pinged” guests aren’t the only issue…
In July, the UK Government released a list of 24 sectors where vaccinated workers could be exempt from isolating should they come into close contact with a positive COVID case. The hospitality industry were absent from the isolation exemption list. Consequently, staff have needed to quarantine if “pinged” by the NHS Test and Trace app. UK Hospitality report around one in five hospitality workers are self-isolating due to contact tracing, which may rise to one-third. Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UK Hospitality explained, “We now face a summer of venue closures and reduced service, when we should be at a seasonal peak”. The rules have since changed in August this year, allowing fully vaccinated people who are identified as close COVID contacts to take a PCR test instead of self-isolating. A positive result from the test would legally require the individual to self-isolate, and a negative result would mean quarantine can be avoided, however, around 60% of hospitality workforce are under 30 years old and may not have received the vaccine yet.
Boosting your business
At this time, Guestroom Genie understand that saving money and boosting efficiency is more important than ever. One way to implement cost-saving measures is to move from a manual booking system and invest in an affordable Property Management, and Reservation System. With Guestroom Genie you experience stress-free streamlined workflow, where maintenance timetables, cleaning schedules, and repetitive administrative manual tasks are taken care of, optimising your time and saving you money.
Guestroom Genie grants you flexibility, such as setting your own room pricing structures helping you to enhance revenue, whilst our Booking Engine reduces the amount of profit you share with third-party mediators, helping you to function as profitably as possible as soon as possible.
Still feeling unsure? Why not access a FREE trial of our Property Management System today and see for yourself! If you have any questions, give our friendly team a call on 0114 207 0221. We’re standing by to start granting your wishes.