Hospitality and Coronavirus: What Lies Ahead?

Hospitality and Coronavirus: What Lies Ahead?

The last few months have taught us that you really can’t predict what hurdles life will throw at you. 2020 has already been one hell of a year, with hospitality being impacted perhaps more than any other industry. But, with signs of life beginning to return to “normal”, many of our clients and event staff are beginning to ask what the impact of COVID-19 will be on the hospitality industry moving forward.

At The Hospitality Company, we’re a far cry from being forecasters or statisticians, but we DO know the hospitality industry inside out. That’s why we’re putting together our predictions for what the next 12 months will look like in terms of COVID-19, events and hospitality.

Here’s how we think the rest of 2020 (and beyond) is going to play out.

COVID-19s Impact On Hospitality And Events In 2020

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that we’re predicting that the large-scale events we’d typically expect in summer will take a hit this year. Indeed, most of them have already been cancelled due to the uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus.

However, smaller events may well survive, particularly those that have access to large spaces and that can create solutions to allow for distancing. Now, more than ever, people are looking for opportunities to connect in a safe way.

In terms of hospitality as a whole, after so much time spent indoors, baking our own bread and multitasking work and family life, we expect a big rise in the use of restaurants, cafes and bars post-lockdown. Already, businesses which have adapted to the circumstances and found ways to offer their services safely are experiencing a boom in demand.

One exception to this is hotel stays. We expect the hotel industry to be affected by the health crisis for longer, with guests putting off non-essential overnight travel. However, hotels which can instil confidence in potential guests, or who can capitalise on the other services they offer, such as dining, will come up trumps.

The Role Of Confidence On Hospitality

We all know that London is an international hub, a place that ordinarily would see a huge number of tourists and business travellers arrive on a daily basis. Much of London’s hospitality industry caters to these international visitors, and of course, the domestic market too. So, will people begin travelling to London again any time soon?

Well, the good news is that London, unlike vast swathes of the UK, has already experienced its peak and is well on the way to recovery. The bad news is that compared to other European cities, London’s figures are still disproportionately high.

Of course, the flip side to this is that if the market is indeed negatively impacted, the push for tourism may well lead airlines to lower their prices and encourage potential tourists from Europe to visit our fine shores sooner than planned.

Realistically, if we woke up tomorrow and the COVID infection rate had dropped by 50%, there would still be a level of health anxiety that would impact hospitality. We’ve all been faced with the reality of how vulnerable we are to falling ill, and so are going to be much more inclined to choose companies that prioritise our wellbeing and safety. As a business, now is the time to begin instilling confidence in your customers and ensuring your staff’s attention to detail is on point.

Will Hospitality Return To Normal In 2020?

Sooner or later, there will be a moment when the population as a whole will have had enough of the limitations placed on their lives and will want to get back to networking, dining out and socialising. This might be as soon as July, but we predict it to fall later, toward August or September.

This turning point is bound to see a spike in hospitality, with success going to those businesses and event organisers who are best placed to offer certainty and confidence in their ability to handle the risks.

Whether you’re an event planner or a business in the hospitality industry, you’re likely to experience both peaks and troughs through the remainder of 2020, but The Hospitality Company team will be here to do what we can to support you.