An appeal to all “recovery stage” Covid-19 travellers.
A huge amount of pressure is on the hospitality industry to comply with hygiene and social distancing rules. Small businesses are the backbone of the industry. Depending on which statistics you use, they represent somewhere between 75 to 95 percent of all businesses globally in this sector.
These small business owners are dedicating time and precious resources to provide the correct environment for all recovery stage Covid-19 travellers. (I say “recovery stage” because unfortunately the pandemic, or at least the impact of it, is far from over).
Photo Source: iStock
Even though travel corridors are being created and some international air travel has been lifted, the fact remains that borders could close at any time in reaction to second waves and cluster outbreaks.
Despite this, hotel, B&B, lodge, and hostel owners are ready to take your reservations and make your stay as wonderfully enriching and relaxing as your first post-lockdown travel should be.
I am working with many small accommodation owners to create resilience and strategies to get them through these seemingly impossible times. It is saddening to hear, again and again, the frustration caused by non-sensical comments and actions of some of the first wave of post-lockdown travellers.
Complaints that the breakfast service is not “up-to-standard”. Complaints that there is a wait list for a massage or a sauna session. Complaints that there is no individual hand sanitiser bottle in their room.
Very little is being said about guests taking responsibility for their own decisions in this recovery stage travelling world. The industry is doing what it can, and it is happy to welcome you back. But please, if you choose to travel right now, take time to read the updated information on websites, check which services have been modified, and ultimately make sure you are happy with what you are going to get.
The hotels, B&Bs, lodges and hostels I am working with are doing their bit to make sure their revised services and hygiene practices are posted everywhere they have online presence. It is just one of the critical elements for survival and recovery discussed in a free six-part resources series I shared a few months ago. They can be found here at sarahhabsburg.com/resources
If you have any questions about the services of the property that you are thinking of visiting, just get directly in touch. The personal customer service that the hospitality industry is renowned for is still there, albeit behind a mask for the time being.
Consider how every stage of your journey has changed. Not just about the obvious tendencies towards contactless airport check in or longer queues at border controls; but also how to support every part of the supply chain at your chosen destination. Try to do your bit to help share the pieces of the pie. Eat out at local cafés. Take a taxi. Don’t haggle over the price of souvenirs.
The industry is bruised, the traveller psyche has been shaken. There is a “newness” about everything related to travel. We need to be more considerate than ever before.
We all wish that the pandemic had not rocked our world the way it has. Everyone is doing what they can to find the light at the end of the tunnel. For those who see the positive in everything, it has provided a unique opportunity to rethink business practices in order to operate in a more responsible way.
Offering free hand sanitiser in small bottles is not a sustainable thing to do. At all. Just as some conscious travellers never leave home without a reusable water bottle, let’s apply the same principle to hand sanitiser. I am pretty sure that not one hotel would turn you down if you asked if they could refill it for you, even if they charge a minimal fee. The whales, turtles, sea horses and all the fish species in the oceans will thank you for it too.
Please share this blog post and help get the message out there. Even if you have heard all this before, someone else might not have considered it from the small business owner point of view.
Let’s try to compensate the uncomfortable and clumsy return to travel by applying good old common sense.