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Travel in the Time of Coronavirus

25 Apr 2020 67 views

Certain calamities seem unduly well-suited to particular industries. It’s hard to make the season’s catch of tuna during a bad year for hurricanes. Humvees and Limousines are a tough sell during periods of chronic, global fuel shortages. Locusts and drought can ruin a year’s crop. But nothing could have wiped out a major sector of the economy more thoroughly than the Coronavirus-19 did for hotels and travel.

The question on everyone’s mind is will the stimulus bill recently passed by Congress be enough to pull the hospitality world through. The CARE Act stipulates that hotel owners may apply for relief that amounts to 250% of their monthly payroll. This translates into four to eight weeks of operating funds. But cancellations across the industry for March, April and May created an occupancy rate that dipped below 10%. This has forced most hotels to close for the time being, while a lucky few are operating with a skeleton staff. The resulting mass furloughs and layoffs have sent hundreds of thousands of hotel workers to the unemployment office. U.S. unemployment applications in a single week in March were ten times higher than in any other period in American history. One estimate says that 44% of hospitality professionals have lost their jobs, despite many of their employers giving up their salaries in an effort to stay open. 

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Travel After Coronavirus

Once travel restrictions are lifted, many industry leaders hope that it will take just ninety days to regain their financial footing. Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, has projected a complete recovery by the third quarter of 2020. Banks and mortgage lenders are equally optimistic. Most are offering payment freezes on loans for ninety to one hundred and eighty days. 

Still, many experts agree that this support from banks and a single round of stimulus spending won’t be enough for a recovery. Some projections say that revenue losses per room in 2020 will reach 50.6%. Those are deeper cuts than what the industry faced after 9/11 and the 2008 recession. For this reason, insiders say that, realistically, it will take three to four years for the industry to regain its robust 2019 standing. Moreover, until people feel it’s safe to travel again, no amount of government spending can help. A travel ban is likely to remain in effect until June at the earliest, but a second stimulus package may be necessary to encourage people to plan for global conferences and beach holidays again.

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Sadly, many hotels will have been forced to close, by then. Those that do survive will be operating in a landscape that is exponentially more streamlined and competitive. Hoteliers will have to have systems in place that keep their properties at the forefront of the tourism industry. That's where Booking Ninjas can help. With our property software, you won't have to worry about missing a single detail when it comes to taking care of your property or your guests. Best of all, you can handle it all from your smartphone or computer, because our PMS System lives on a mobile platform. That means you can track data, make reservation changes, process payments and more from a single app on your iPhone or other mobile device. When this crisis is over, people will be craving connectivity and joy. Your property will be ready to welcome them with the Booking Ninjas property management software systems.