Current Hospitality Industry Challenges and Solutions
It has been a little more than two years since the corona epidemic broke into our lives, and already closures and travel restrictions seem like a distant reality. With the return to normal life there is also a significant increase in the demand for domestic and international travel, both business and leisure.
While occupancy levels have recovered faster than expected in the hospitality industry (nearing 2019 levels in most markets), this industry, and the travel industry in general, are facing many difficulties in returning to their pre-pandemic performance.
The leading difficulty, experienced across many industries, is a shortage of qualified manpower.
Due to the nearly complete halt of travel in the first year of the pandemic, many hospitality employees found themselves unemployed for a long period of time, which led many of them to a career change.
Now, many of them are reluctant to return to this industry that feels insecure at times, not as financially rewarding and far too demanding. These concerns are even strongly felt by people from outside of the industry that are in search for a job.
Some hotels had to rebuild their workforce from scratch and are still struggling to do so while occupancy levels are extremely high.
On the customer side, the shortage of manpower leads to long queues, delays, lower levels of customer service, lower availability and an unproportioned rise in rates.
As we have shared back on our June review, the global hospitality analytics company STR has recently conducted a study on hotel ADRs (average daily rates) across US and Europe, comparing April-May 2022 rates to April-May 2019 rates. The results show an average 14% increase in ADR in the US and 6% increase in ADR in Europe.
This manpower shortage will most likely force the hospitality industry to adapt to new ways of working. One of the leading trends we see is the fact that this industry is focusing on implantation of digital and automation technologies, across several departments.
Hospitality human resources departments now utilize digital platforms in the process of hiring and training.
On the one hand those platforms allow job seekers to create profiles that demonstrate their skills, and on the other hand the employer can select the most fitting candidates to specific positions more easily.
This promises a more accurate, efficient and cost-effective hiring process.
Digital platforms also can be used in the process of training employees by centralizing the learning process and getting direct feedback on their training programs.
Operations departments deal with the manpower shortage by increasingly using mobile and SaaS-based technology to simplify operations and enhance costumer experiences.
These uses include automating administrative tasks (room assignment, check in and report scheduling), guest messaging platforms that allow a single employee to manage multiple requests at once, and a mobile property management system (PMS) that automatically delegate tasks among team members like the housekeeping team to maximize efficiency.
Hotels also reduce the workload by using mobile check-in or kiosk-based contactless self-check-in, a digital payment system and keyless entry system that allows guests to get into their rooms in a matter of minutes.
Digital platforms are also supporting from the customer side. Using smart booking platforms helps to facilitate the booking experience and avoid some of the nuisances due to manpower shortage.
Booking with Arbitrip for example will not only help you save at least 15%-25% on you travel expenses, but also give you access to exclusive deals, 24/7 costumer service centralized payment options and access to valuable analysis reports – and all of that free of charge.
One thing is certain – that technology can not completely replace human interaction. There is of course a great importance in the hospitality industry for that personal touch between the costumer and the hotel employees. However, automating some of the tasks and using digital platforms, results in a more personal and exceptional service from the hotel staff.
For more information on the Arbitrip platform and how we can help make your booking process better – please contact us at [email protected].