The coronavirus outbreak clearly represents a challenge for the hospitality industry. Learn now how HRS is taking care und what you as a hotelier should keep in mind.
Last Update: 18 March 2020
The rapid spread of the coronavirus is currently putting the global economy, and in particular the hotel industry, through a severe stress test. Never before has a virus paralyzed entire economies as it is today. As a technology provider for all aspects of business hotel booking, we at HRS are just as hard hit by this crisis as you are as a hotelier. I would therefore like to address you personally and show you what measures we are taking to counter the crisis and support you as your global distribution partner. I would like to assure you that you have our complete solidarity - because only together can we overcome this difficult phase.
The well-being of travelers and of our employees is our highest priority. For this reason, and in order to slow down the spread of the pandemic as much as possible, we have asked our employees in our 35 offices around the world (as well as at our headquarters in Cologne) to work from home as a precaution. They have been given the necessary resources and tools to do so. Because our Lodging as a Service platform is completely cloud-based, you can rely on us to maintain your bookability and the associated service processes, such as Virtual Payment, even if the volume is currently severely limited.
At the moment we are receiving an immensely high number of cancellation requests. Therefore, the following conditions apply: if a hotel or region is quarantined or generally inaccessible, the situation is to be considered as force majeure. In this case, travelers can generally cancel their hotel bookings free of charge. In our view, refraining from any kind of travel currently one of the most important measures in the fight against the further spread of the virus. However, in solidarity with our hotel partners worldwide who are particularly affected by this crisis, we would like to take an alternative approach. Instead of simply accepting the guest's cancellation, we offer the guest the option of rebooking to a later date - knowing that most business trips can be fulfilled in the future. In this way we ensure that your turnover is not lost, but only postponed. In return for the guest's loyalty, we would like to offer them, in close consultation with you, a free upgrade.
This measure increases the Average Handling Time required per service case, directly increaseing our costs. However, we are willing to make this investment so that we can secure the already booked revenues together with you and emerge from the crisis stronger. In order to implement this plan as efficiently as possible, we are now dependent on your cooperation:
Your local Hotel Solutions representative or a Customer Service representative might contact you separately in the coming days if a rebooking is an option for your property.
The cancellation of business trips around the globe is one of the immediate consequences of this crisis. But one thing is also certain: personal contacts continue to form the basis for sustainable business relationships, and company representatives will travel again after the crisis. Since it is likely that there will be pent-up demand after the crisis passes, detailed volume and capacity planning is crucial to success. Our team is already analyzing the travel flows of our corporate clients worldwide, and determining where the travel program should be adapted to the new requirements after the crisis. In doing so, we take into account the entire range of hotels on offer in each market, with the aim that even small and owner-managed hotel businesses can be stabilized after the crisis by additional business from corporate clients. Please contact your contact person from the Hotel Solutions division directly to find out how you can benefit from this development.
Please be assured that all our teams are doing their best to support you in these special times. If we stand together now, we can overcome this crisis together. I wish for everyone to stay healthy and unscathed. If everyone plays their part in containing the virus, and we all show respect, understanding, and support for each other, we will overcome this challenge. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact our local hotel experts.
We have reserved additional capacities to ensure you superior service during this time.
Again, we understand what a challenge this unforeseen outbreak presents. We remain committed to working with you to get through this, and look forward to the return of “business as usual” in the near future.
Tobias Ragge | CEO of HRS GROUP