Ask Anthony: How Can We Prepare for the Next Recession?

Anthony Melchiorri, hotel fixer and host of Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, loves dishing out advice. From sharing best practices to tackling operational issues, he’s here to answer your questions.

How can hotels protect themselves from the next financial crisis?
Hotels are susceptible to a wide range of internal and external forces. When a crisis occurs, and as disposable income and demand are eroded, tourism can slow sharply. The year 2008 wasn’t the first time we faced a challenge. Over the past 24 years, we have navigated some rough waters: the recession of the early 1990s, another in 2000, and a smaller one again in 2004. The average price of a hotel room was 14 percent lower in 2009 than in 2008.

How does one plan ahead? Develop a culture of service and invest your time and focus on the key indicators: cleanliness, service, and cost controls. I always run my hotels like I’m going out of business tomorrow. That doesn’t mean I cut costs and pull back services, but rather, I challenge revenue and sales managers to be creative. My line-level staff members are also critical to success, as I challenge them to think differently and lead the comp set in innovations. We push every day to work outside our comfort zones to help guests become more comfortable.

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When the next downturn arrives, be sure you’re in a position to react like you have been doing every day, by constantly innovating.

Got a question? Send it to AskAnthony@lodgingmagazine.com or leave a comment below.