How Tourism Industry Can Overcome COVID Crisis – 10 Recommendations by Hotels Manager David Meskhi
The most important question is: what preparations should the tourism industry make to resume operation under the anti-crisis plan?
As hotels manager David Meskhi says, the Georgian tourism business and industry is to make the following preparations for the post-pandemic period:
- Hotels should train the staff in protecting special hygiene rules that will be published soon;
- Hotels should buy additional safeguard accessories and use them in everyday practice;
- Additional accent should be made on Georgian clients, especially at RESORT-type hotels.
According to the COLLIERS report, in 2019 Georgia citizens have spent 2 billion GEL abroad and the average costs per visit made up 877 GEL. These resources should be redirected to domestic market and this will be essential contribution to the hotel industry;
- Hotels should regulate the price of the factors that determine the hotels’ workload. Hotels start lowering prices when the demand declines. In the post-pandemic period with the halved consumer demand, many players will not be able to resume operation and another part will have to work for survival to reach the 2021 season. Hotels should not essentially lower prices and they should maintain high standard prices. This will be difficult, but lower prices will minimize chances to reach the 2021 season amid the declining demand.
- Hotels should intensify online marketing andintroduce updated offers with high safety standard starting June 15. Hotels should activate all channels of sales and open hotels due to the new bookings. Consequently, each hotel depends on when flights will be resumed from this or that country and when bookings will be made.
- Hotel should optimize costs, revise operational costs and get adapted to the new realities;
- Hotels should intensify communication with domestic and international partners, potential guests, travel companies, foreign friends for opening safe tourism season.
- Hotel should keep a conservation plan if everything worsens again so as hotels stop operation with minimized losses;
- Hotels should continue working on ne projects, because some day or other everything will get in order.
- Hotels should develop the self-service direction and reduce physical communication in the segment of services though technological innovations, including mobile applications for digital sales and so on.
Part of countries has also announced plans for opening borders and showed readiness to receive tourists. Greece is a good example. Under the government’s decision, Greece has already opened more than 500 beaches. As for holidaymakers, they are obliged to keep social distancing. Only 40 persons are admitted on each 1,000 square meter. Beach umbrellas must be placed at a 1-meter distance. Greece has also adopted a new law on safe crossing the state borders.
For conclusion, Georgia is able to transform its success in COVID elimination into competitive advantage for positioning the country as a safe green zone in the post-pandemic period for attracting high-spending foreign tourists, who appreciate safety standards.