With most countries grounding flights in and out of their borders, the hospitality and tourism industry has been severely impacted by the pandemic. However, industry experts are optimistic that this will rebound to its full potential in a matter of time. In a webinar conducted by Hospitality Design, experts go as far as mentioning that there will be “opportunistic buys on the FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment) side and the labour construction side.”
This will mainly be due to the rethinking of the traditional hospitality space. As with the death of the open-plan layout, hotels may also see a shift back to an emphasis on the privacy afforded by guestrooms. For the immediate future, guests will probably be apprehensive about socialising in communal spaces. Also, with the renewed focus on health and well-being, the design of hotels may change to accommodate in-room workout equipment or outdoor venues for recreation.
Also, technology will be further incorporated into the hotel environment, offering contactless payment and self-check-in options. The challenge, according to Architectural Digest, is to maintain a balance between creating a space that invites guests to relax and enjoy themselves while also putting the necessary health precautions in place. There may also be greater thought given to materials used: non-porous surfaces so bacteria and viruses are kept at bay, or even metals with anti-microbial properties like copper for handles and doorknobs.
After adaptation should come a new period of growth. This is the time where further innovation and creativity become the tools to get ahead of the pack. As Winston Churchill’s famous quote goes, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” COVID-19 is here, and it is unlikely to go away any time soon. What’s important is putting our best foot forward and moving on.