Hotels urged to prioritize vaccination of workers, refresher trainings

Worker vaccination and refresher training are some of the initiatives that hotel operators should focus on to be able to maximize the sector’s recovery, a property services firm said.

“Colliers believes that hotel establishments operating as isolation or quarantine facilities should maximize the inclusion of tourism workers alongside medical front-liners in the A1 priority group for the Covid-19 vaccine,” Colliers Philippines said.

“In our view, the inoculation of employees from the hotel and restaurant sector is likely to hasten the segment’s recovery and capacity to increase hiring,”it added.

Colliers also urged hotel operators who plan on reopening their facilities to implement training and refresher programs for their existing staff to provide efficient and seamless hotel experience for guests post-pandemic.

Among these training are familiarization with new guidelines and cleaning practices in common areas and hotel rooms, and proper food and beverage (F&B) etiquette, such as on the sanitization of tables, cutlery and glasses, as well as maintaining sanitary food preparation.

“This will allow hotel operators to safely operate while maintaining hospitality and adhering to social distancing protocols, and will encourage more people to travel knowing that safety standards are strictly adhered to,” it added.

The property services firm said a slow recovery is expected for the leisure sector, especially with domestic and international travel restrictions still in place and new Covid-19variants dampening sentiment and travel.

“However, domestic travel will stoke the leisure sector first, particularly with the Philippine government’s thrust to improve hotel occupancies and revive local jobs. This is also in line with its goal of raising tourism’s contribution to the economy,” Colliers said.

Given the projected slow recovery, Colliers said hotel operators should continue tweaking their marketing strategies to maximize the sector’s recovery.

Data from Colliers show that hotel occupancy slightly improved in the first half of the year to 24 percent from 20 percent in the same period last year.

“Colliers expect hotel occupancies remain below 30 percent by the end of 2021 as we do not see an uptick in international tourists for the remainder of the year,”the property services firm said.