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.
Got a question? Send it to AskAnthony@lodgingmagazine.com.
While there is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the hospitality industry hard, do you think it is a good time to begin a career in hotels?
While things may be dire now, I expect to see a significant uptick in demand over the next six months—especially now that COVID-19 vaccines are available. After spending so many months at home in isolation, many folks feel a need to travel. The industry will likely see a resurgence similar to what was seen in the roaring twenties following the 1918 flu epidemic. The market segments will perform a little differently than we’re used to, however. I believe that leisure travel will outpace pre-pandemic levels with group and corporate travel slower to return, but business will be back, and it will be booming.
If you’re thinking about entering the hotel industry, this past year has been a reminder of our resilience. We have watched hotels pivot, thoughtfully restructuring safety protocols and procedures and adapting to changing market needs. Guest suites have been transformed into office space and private workout areas, offering unique alternatives to working from home. Communal spaces have been redesigned with physical distancing in mind, incorporating rearrangeable furniture that can be adjusted as needed. While safety and cleanliness has always been a priority in hospitality, we have set new standards in hygiene using electrostatic sprayers, UV light machines, and sanitizing robots. Mobile check-in, fewer touchpoints in the room, and devices that allow you to do everything from order room service to close the blinds are quickly becoming standard issue. Many properties also used this time to renovate, taking advantage of lower occupancies to temporarily pause and refresh.
Hospitality has evolved. Creativity and innovative solutions will continue to flourish, offering experiences for people hungry to travel. Further, many brand-new properties are slated to open in 2021.
If you are a tenacious, hard-working individual with an entrepreneurial spirit and genuine desire to connect with others, you will find a number of career opportunities on the horizon. Use this remaining down time to expand and further develop your skills in every way you can. The competition will be fierce, but the opportunities will be there. Hotels, travel, and hospitality will soon be back and better than ever before.