The Hospitality Industry’s State of Recovery for The United States

SensorFlow had its first global webinar and we had an amazing bunch of speakers. To make the webinar digestible, we’ve split it into a four-part web series to shine the limelight on all four speakers.

For the first part of this web series, we have David Salcfas representing the United States to share insights on how hotels are handling the current situation and what can be done in pursuit of excellence in a post-COVID era.

Watch David’s presentation here:

The U.S. hospitality and travel industry are anticipating at least 3 years for travel demand to recover. We are witnessing a diverse range of strategy pivots from all types of hotel and travel businesses. A popular form of adaption of the industry is the move of most hospitality services to a mobile app platform.

Below are the three takeaways from the U.S. hospitality industry:

Will we travel again?

Firstly, know that what’s happening in the world today is not your fault! We can’t be negative about the situation. So instead, we should take this opportunity to implement new and exciting innovations or practices to get us ready for re-opening. In the U.S., we’re expecting to see up to 40% in business travellers as the first wave of foreign tourism starting in April 2021. Knowing this, we need to anticipate the return of guests and find out what their new expectations are for post-COVID travel.

There’s also been some promising news for the industry with the creation of the vaccine which gives travellers a sense of security that this pandemic will be under control soon. It is strongly believed that once the vaccine is available, people will start travelling again. That’s definitely something to look forward to, both as a hotel and as an individual with wanderlust!

What challenges can the hospitality industry expect for the next year?

Leisure travellers are going to make a huge comeback! We’re expecting them to be the first few people to travel, even before business travellers. After being cooped up in their homes for so long, leisure travellers are going to bust out from their caves like Mick Jagger busting a move. They are going to expect more from you because they’ve been waiting for months for this moment and they want to create amazing, lasting memories for their first trip since COVID struck.

So you need to bring your A-game and figure out new and exciting experiences for your guests. Now is the best time to plan for this.

Before people start travelling again, you need to look for base business in other segments. Some hotels had airline crews or tour groups as their steady stream of recurring revenue but with limited flights that are expected in the coming year, hotels might look for other revenue opportunities like remote working day packages or cargo crews. There are available alternatives as some hotels in New York are currently doing it to stay afloat.

How can we manage the post-COVID norms?

According to CBRE’s hotel research, it’s expected that the industry would only be back to 2019 levels of average occupancy, RevPar, and ADR by 2023. This means in anticipating a 3-year recovery to rebuild demand, you’ll need to incorporate some of the new norms like mobile check-ins and even mobile apps in your F&B outlets.

Post-COVID World of Travel and Hospitality

Implementing ways to make hotel operations more efficient and productive is also important, especially when you want to reduce your bottom line without compromising on guest experiences. You can change how your staff work or you can use digital transformation to remove those repetitive and mundane tasks for your team and let them concentrate on more high-level work.

Lastly, make sure to keep giving your guests that sense of security by wearing masks, maintaining social distancing practices, and better hygiene practices which we are all already doing.

About The Speaker


David started his career over 35 years ago and is a proven leader in the hospitality industry, where he enhances the employees, guests, and ownership experiences while using sound financial acumen. He is a liaison for local organisations as an active board member to serve communities and functions as a strategic partner to all stakeholders. He’s served as an executive committee member in 21 positions at 15 hotels across five brands and several restaurants. David’s personal mantra is based on his humble experience from front-of-house operations to the boardroom – hold yourself and others accountable so you can focus on getting things done.

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