Episode 1- Series - 1
This event is part of our resilience series, which looks in depth at how different industries are coping with the post-COVID landscape. This addition, is our very first, and it will be focusing on the hospitality industry, what different hospitality leaders are doing to better come out of this pandemic. Joshua Gan, regional director of Asia Pacific for the EHL Group in collaboration with General Assembly will be joined by our lovely panelists:
Joel Oei, Head of Lyf Brand, The Ascott Limited
Gisle Sarheim, Vice President, Feasibility & Investment Analysis, Real Estate Management APAC for Hilton
Huilin Quek, CEO of Q Industries Group
Joan Plouviet, SVP Investment of Pontiac Land Group
The leaders who came together for this webinar were able to explore how the past year, and the challenges it brought, impacted the industry from a variety of different specialties. Joan, who works for a luxury real estate company currently working on a project in the Maldives, found that the year was really about managing the downs and the logistics associated with the unexpected closures and disruptions to supply chains."It became difficult to forecast performance moving forward."
Gisle, at the Hilton, found that within the company, unfortunately, they had to say goodbye to some colleagues just to be able to keep the business afloat and begin to prepare for the future. From the supply side, Huilin reported that severe cost-cutting measures had to be implemented to keep the business afloat. Similarly, Joel reported that Lyf brand buildings had very low occupancy rates by hospitality standards, which made it difficult to do business and forced them to carefully rethink how they could keep the spaces used.
However, the group also found that the year brought about positive changes. Forcing teams and companies to come together and support each other, try out new ideas to keep the business alive, and brainstorm creative solutions that they might not have otherwise been open to.
Like the rest of the world, the hospitality industry was forced online to combat the pandemic and avoid in-person crowds, hence, digital technology has become an increasingly important part of business success.
The speakers noticed that technology opened up a variety of new opportunities for growth, such as using the streaming technology to connect not only with their colleagues and the rest of their business connections but also with guests. Streaming experiences for guests to encourage engagement allowed them to connect during shutdown. The success, however, indicated that it could potentially become an important part of the future travel experience.
Overall, the hospitality industry continues to show remarkable resilience. It is an industry that has seen rises and falls in response to world events many times before, and older, established companies-- like Hilton-- are familiar with this type of upheaval. The hospitality industry is poised to continue to grow and shows signs of tremendous recovery and expansion now that global travel has restarted.
Businesses across all industries have realized that the world can quickly change, causing supply chain issues and nearly shutting down industries as large as the hospitality and travel sector. Businesses that understand how to adapt to this reality and prepare themselves are the best equipped to navigate the changing landscape.
The experience of travel will adjust as customer expectations have changed and businesses realize the potential found in technology as well as the opportunities in sustainability and environmentally-friendly designs.