Welcome at the reception desk in a hotel: Hoteliers are helping during times of crisis.

How are hotels helping during times of crisis in 2020?

In Blog by Ulrike

In extraordinary circumstances, hotels are known for providing services for society. Right now, hoteliers around the world are taking extra steps to protect people. Read on for some heartwarming examples of hotels going above and beyond.

2020 has seen its fair share of challenges. The devastating bushfires in Australia and the current coronavirus pandemic have caused challenges for businesses and hotels alike. Despite the sudden change to the travel industry, many hotels have quickly adapted to offer bold but essential changes to their policies to help guests, employees and others in these difficult times. From point donation schemes to helping medical teams have closer access to hospitals, hoteliers around the world are doing their best to do their part.

Giving guests the option to donate points to charity

One initiative launched by hotel chains such as the Marriot Bonvoy Group is to offer guests the option to donate their points to charities, including World Central Kitchen. For example, Marriott Bonvoy will match the value of the donation with cash to provide real support to important causes.

Opening their doors as temporary hospitals

What better way to make use of comfortable beds and en-suite bathrooms that would otherwise go unused? In many countries, hotels are offering their properties to act as temporary hospitals to support excess numbers of patients.This idea first arose in Spain, where the Room Mate Hotel group owned by Kike Sarasola opened the doors to several of its hotels in Madrid at the height of the coronavirus crisis.

Other hotel chains have worked with HRS to help healthcare clients to place their personnel near hospitals and clinics in need, enabling vital expertise to be provided during the COVID-19 crisis.

Providing shelter for homeless people

Homeless people are an at-risk social group that is less able to follow essential mandated advice to stay at home and wash their hands, which puts them at greater risk for infection. Altruistic hotel chains around the world have stepped in to offer unused rooms to as shelters for the homeless, with their assistance proving vital.

This essential service is important for all that are helped, but is particularly necessary for homeless people who must self-isolate or require medical care. At one hotel in London converted into a temporary home for rough sleepers, doctors managed to contain an outbreak and stop it spreading to the wider community, which could not have been achieved as easily otherwise.

Rapid reservations for rehousing

Much as they had done during Cyclone Debbie and the Townsville floods, Australian hoteliers worked with HRS to provide emergency housing for the claimant accommodation rehousing program during the 2020 bushfire crisis.

Having supported accommodation in large-scale operations, working with 62 government agencies, and with the ability to turn around room requests in 107 minutes, these hotels were well-placed to house those in need, even for extended periods. To date, 20,000 room nights were found for those in dire need with the help of HRS.

Supporting key workers and healthcare staff

Whether by offering them a buffet breakfast before work or free accommodation after a night shift, many hotels have made special provisions to support front-line workers during the coronavirus pandemic – and some are even offering their services free of charge.

One notable example is in Manchester, England, where the hotels Stock Exchange and Hotel Football, both owned by former Manchester United footballers Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville, have offered local NHS staff up to 10 nights’ stay free of charge. Given that their hotels are likely to be impacted by current lockdown restrictions in the UK, it is a kind gesture.

Turning hotel rooms into offices for people working from home

At HRS, we’ve introduced “MeWork” as a way to help hotels keep occupancy levels up during the crisis, while giving people working from home the option to work from a fresh, inspiring and hygienic environment.

This is a valuable service for people who are unable to work from their home. So long as they can take their laptop and work equipment with them, anyone can turn their “home office” into a “hotel office”. Meanwhile, thanks to the MeWork platform from HRS, hotels can charge their usual overnight rate for rooms while rescheduling bookable hours to the daytime.

MeWork is easy and quick to use. Start your inquiry online by filling in our simple form. We’ll create a list of hotel workstations that fit your needs, then send you a special link to book the one you want. Want to learn more? Contact MeWork@hrs.de.

Offering their services in many other ways

Many hotels (particularly smaller and independent locations) have expressed an eagerness to lend their support, despite the fact they are not needed right away.

For this reason, in Spain, a platform called HotelesEnAcción (“Hotels in Action”) has been launched to help hotels across the country to collaborate and communicate when and how their support is required. Should the crisis become worse, these hotels could find themselves on the front line in supporting their communities.

Performing their duty of care to the best of their ability

No matter how small the gesture, hoteliers have proven that they are capable of providing outstanding duty of care to all their clients and partners. By going above and beyond their remit to help others, they have shown that they are able to adapt to any situation and turning it to their, and others’, advantage.