By Nico Strydom
The national period of isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic hit the hospitality industry especially hard.
Hotels, guest houses and restaurants were only recently given the green light to reopen their doors.
Lee Zama, CEO of Fedhasa, the representative body of the hospitality industry, has said that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused havoc in the hospitality industry, with hundreds of businesses and job opportunities that have been lost forever.
“While the industry is slowly beginning to reopen under strict hygiene and social-distancing protocols, there is hope that some undertakings will be able to survive. What these undertakings urgently need, is cash to pay salaries and fixed costs, otherwise more undertakings will be compelled to close and more jobs will be lost.”
According to Robyn Christie, a consultant in the hospitality industry, strong competition and new social norms will probably have a big impact on the hospitality industry.
“The numerous hospitality undertakings that have so far survived the total isolation period will now have to review their operational models to make sure that their undertakings remain sustainable given the new requirements for the prevention of Covid-19.”
Christie points out that many hospitality undertakings have already shown great initiative to make sure that the isolation regulations, social distancing included, are complied with. In the beginning undertakings may find it difficult to comply with all the new requirements, but in his opinion the industry has shown strict dedication regarding the necessary changes to make their services as safe as possible for all concerned.
“However, it is not only about compliance with the government’s requirements, but also about winning back the confidence of the public. When clients come back they will be very interested in the precautions introduced to protect their staff and clients.
“In the hospitality industry it is our mission to create wonderful experiences for our clients. With the publication of the new rules, undertakings will adapt their service to make it as attractive as possible to new clients, and I foresee that fabulous new ideas will be born to make hospitality not only safer but also more attractive than ever before.”
Experts agree that the most important changes in the hospitality industry will be concerned with hygiene practices. Hospitality undertakings will have to introduce strict measures in order to assure clients’ and visitors’ safety at all times.
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