How to make sure your favorite hotels make it through this.
Unless you’ve been totally off the grid for the last month (ahem, Jared Leto), you’re probably aware that there’s a coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, completely disrupting the travel world as we know it. The hotel industry, in particular, has been hit hard financially, leading properties to lay off or furlough staff, or simply close their doors—potentially for good. “Despite the big brand names you see, most hotels are owned by small companies or individuals. Hotels are operations that employ lots of people. They have very high fixed costs to operate, and competition is severe,” wrote Standard Hotels CEO Amar Lalvani in a press release. “Profit margins are thin, and have been getting thinner even before this crisis. What that means is modest drops in revenue from things like weather hurt profits. Big drops like the financial crisis, bite hard. Epic drops like the past week, kill.”
Given the shelter-in-place mandates that are in place around the world, most travelers can’t (and shouldn’t) book a stay right now, even if hotels are still open. There are, however, some ways you can help from afar. We’ve spoken to dozens of hotels about the best ways to keep business moving—and to help out their staff—without stepping foot outside your door. While we couldn’t share all their responses here, we urge you to check a hotel’s website or social media profiles to see how you can chip in. “It’s been a tough few months for the industry, but it’s important to remember that the travel industry is resilient and has bounced back from hard times in the past,” says Jade McBride, general manager at Vermejo, a Ted Turner Reserve, in New Mexico. “At its core, travel is all about connecting with communities and cultures and it’s inspiring to see how people around the world are staying connected right now.”