The situation created by the coronavirus affects the economy in general and the tourism industry in particular, several owners have even sold their businesses because of this disease, the economy in general is affected but the real estate market remains stable. In this sector, the hotel industry, by the very nature of its activity, has an even more obvious obligation to restore insurance. Professionals have responded to this imperative injunction with an inflation of new health measures, in addition to the standards imposed on them, as we saw in the first part of this article. In addition to the difficulty related to the costs and deployment of these measures, the challenge for hotels is to combine hospitality and security, with contrasting results, as we saw in the second part of this article.
But whatever the customer’s feelings, physical distancing, wearing a mask in certain situations and other barrier gestures are essential. Travel managers are pleased to see that, as an agent of a company, they have a duty of care to ensure optimal safety and security conditions. Given this choice, do chain hotels have an advantage over independent hotels?
Indé or chain?
Not surprisingly, Accor emphasizes more formalized processes that guarantee a uniform level of health safety, regardless of the establishment. As we have seen, the certification process is very lengthy. To take the case of Accor – whose All Safe certification is voluntary (only 950 hotels out of 1,580 in France have decided to obtain it), less than 200 hotels have received it to date.
NH Hotel also emphasises the differential advantage of chain hotels in this respect, but Hugo Rovira, DG Southern Europe and USA of NH Hotel Group, puts it into perspective: “With regard to independents, yes, possibly… But it is above all in relation to collaborative accommodation that our advantage is enormous”.In fact, well aware of the hard blow that the health crisis represents for it, Airbnb communicates on its “Ekolean on Demand” service, a specific cleaning and disinfection service, available for the platform’s guests who wish it.but, in fact, the use of rented private apartments is at half mast.
Solenne Devys, Product Director of OKKO Hotels, distances herself even further from pro domo arguments: “Is the chain hotel at an advantage in the current context? Yes and no. For the centralisation of documents related to sanitary facilities, their deployment, in short everything that comes under the heading of engineering, yes, it is certainly simpler for a group… But for communication with the client, the trust that he can inspire, an independent can just as easily find the right tone, the right personalisation as we can…”.