The COVID-19 pandemic has created multiple challenges around the world for the Best Western Hotels & Resorts brand and its owners who must comply with regulations and guidelines specific to their region.
Suzi Yoder, Vice President of International Operations at Best Western Hotels & Resorts, explains at the Best Western 2020 virtual convention:
One of the biggest challenges of the virus and overseeing multiple locations around the world, is keeping up with government regulations. Staying in tune with what the governments have declared, and what's legal and what's illegal, it's almost different in every country.
Hotels around the world have become dependent on local leisure activities due to the disappearance of business travel. However, meeting the local demand for leisure and to adapt to the new situation has been more difficult for some regions than others.
Great Britain and Central Europe
According to Rob Paterson, CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts Great Britain:
The pie is much bigger than it has been in the past. Our hotels are really well placed for that because we have lots of leisure destinations and resorts, so it’s been very beneficial actually for some of those hotels.
Carmen Duêcker, CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts Central Europe, said however that there is not enough domestic business in her region:
I think for all hotels in leisure destinations there’s much more than enough domestic business. They had a great summer season. But this is just one-third of our properties in our region, so two-thirds of those, they are more in city destinations and corporate destinations, and for them all of that international corporate business is absolutely missing.
France and southern Europe
Giovanna Manzi, CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts Southern Europe, explains that hotels in these regions had to reassure guests throughout the pandemic with special programs and procedures. In addition to national cleaning and safety guidelines and Best Western's We Care Clean protocols, hotels are required to provide health insurance to guests throughout their stay, from check-in to check-out.
Olivier Cohn, CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts France, explains:
Bed liners and other in-room extras that didn’t make the rooms seem clean have been taken away to help assure guests that all rooms have been sanitized.
William Dong, President and Managing Director of Best Western Hotels & Resorts China, announces that the situation is improving day by day in China as the magnitude of the virus decreases.
However, Olivier Berrivin, managing director of International Operations Asia, reports that the pandemic has been very difficult in parts of Asia, particularly in Thailand, which has been totally isolated since mid-February, due to the absence of international flights. Nevertheless, he remains optimistic:
There are people waiting abroad to come back to Thailand, and they have to go through a mandatory 14-day quarantine, which gives us a lot of opportunity to do our best to accommodate these people for a fortnight.
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