Why hoteliers should be refurbishing during a pandemic

Hotels that undergo a rejuvenation approximately every seven years, are least likely to experience a dip in profit. It is essential that hotel owners plan ahead, anticipate the need for change and define a phase of processes, budgeting accordingly. With this in mind, what happens when a global pandemic has an unexpected impact on tourism, travel and room occupancy – and of course on profitability?

This is when operators who have planned for a refurbishment scheme have the upper hand. One of the key factors when undertaking works is to avoid disturbance to guests.  With many hotels now at low or zero occupancy, disruption is at a minimum and works can happen more quickly and efficiently.

The government is currently assisting the hospitality industry by helping with staff costs, and this support offers an added reason why hoteliers should be using this time to carry out refurbishments, if they can afford to – it’s as simple as that.

Having a strong procurement plan and committing to a programme with realistic deliverables and timescales is essential. This is where it is prudent to obtain the support of an experienced Project Management and Cost Management team. After all, there is no point in undertaking a rejuvenation scheme if it becomes sabotaged by spiralling costs and unnecessary delays.

Thinking ahead, what customers will need more than ever is reassurance that the hotel they are checking into is a safe place to stay. Aside from reconfiguring guest flow and ensuring communal spaces adhere to social distancing guidelines, some operators are installing thermal CCTV systems, where cameras can take up 30 people’s temperatures as they walk through the door.  Guests are also more likely to spend increased amounts of time in their rooms, where they feel more secure and so these need to offer more than just somewhere to sleep. This could require repurposing areas of bedrooms, for the provision of adequate working facilities. Other increasingly important criteria will include proper entertainment, fast and reliable Wi-Fi and up to date technology.

So, whether hotel operators can embark on large-scale refurbishment schemes, or a series of small but important upgrades, they should be using this time to implement these, ready to entice and reassure future guests when normal travel resumes.

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