Globally, the hospitality sector has faced challenging times due to COVID-19 which has resulted in reduced travel demand and booking cancellations. Moving forward, there will continue to be changes to the hospitality and travel sectors as consumers adapt and review their travel plans. Hospitality industry leaders and experts from across the globe came together virtually for the 2020 Future of Hospitality Summit to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the global travel and tourism industry. The immersive virtual hybrid summit which took place over two days, was organized by the Saudi Ministry of Tourism and the Saudi Secretariat of the G20 as part of the International Conferences Program, honoring Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency this year, and was attended by over 6,000 attendees across 140 countries.
Many companies have briefly halted their development plans since the start of the pandemic while others have taken the crisis as a call-to-action to future-proof their businesses. Looking at the current climate, many have questioned whether planning and accelerating business growth, within an unpredictable economy, makes sense. As one of the headline sessions of the summit and key note speakers, Federico J. González, CEO Radisson Hotel Group, CNN’s John Defterios, and Cyril Ranque, President of Travel Partners Group, Expedia Group, discussed the necessity of planning in times of crisis and shared their insights.
Many hotel groups and industry standards such as STR have suggested a recovery by 2024 / 2025, but Radisson Hotel Group remains prudently optimistic their timeline is looking more at 2022, dependent upon the continued development of the pandemic and hopefully positive news about the vaccine. Whilst the Group had to shift some timelines and focus on cash as a number one priority throughout Q2 and Q3, it remains determinated to continue implementing their five-year development and growth plan in the coming three years. Radisson Hotel Group’s unique position to offer owners and investors a portfolio of strong brands as well as strong GOP to ensure the increased revenues convert to profit, makes them one of the leaders in the industry.
Federico J. González, CEO, Radisson Hotel Group said: “One of Radisson Hotel Group’s core beliefs are “we are many minds, with one mindset”. This time has most certainly proven that we need to stand together as we are all faced with common challenges. In times like these, we need to look ahead to the future, inspire our teams and remind them that there will be an end to this crisis, and that the hospitality industry will come back stronger than ever.”
Looking ahead, Radisson Hotel Group is confident that travel will continue to rebound, and more capital will be invested in the industry from both the private and public sectors. While customer preferences, financial markets, and real estate dynamics, may evolve, the Group continues to put its owners and guests at the heart of its initiatives. While many hotel groups have put their development plans on hold, Radisson Hotel Group and its investors have remained committed towards their ambitions and mission to be recognized as one of the top three hotel brands in the world and the brand of choice for owners, guests, and talent. The 40 signings announced so far in 2020 re-affirm the Group’s commitment to its owners, employees, guests and partners and further strengethen its global scale of over 1,100 hotels in operation and another 300 in the pipeline.
The Middle East region remains one of the key focus markets for Radisson Hotel Group’s global development strategy, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia playing a key role. With over 20 hotels, resorts and serviced apartments in operation today, Radisson Hotel Group aims to double its Saudi Arabia portfolio by 2025. Radisson Hotel Group recently opened the Park Inn by Radisson Jeddah Madinah Road, with another opening coming up later this year, as well as the addition of five hotels to its operating portfolio in 2021. The Group’s CEO also mentions growth opportunities in Africa where the company already holds the second largest number of properties in the pipeline.
Whilst some things will go back to normal, the effects of the pandemic will continue to influence consumers’ travel habits and the reasons for travel are still bound to change. In addition to the health, security and economic restraints that consumers may face, many are now also reevaluating the question of priority. Health and Safety will therefore continue to be a focus area for Q4. In May 2020, the Group launched the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol, a program of in-depth cleanliness and disinfection procedures developed in partnership with SGS and played a leading role in developing the World Travel and Tourism (WTTC) “Safe Travels” protocols.
“We need to continue personalizing the standards for our guests and working with our operational teams to deliver these standards. This will reinforce our image and position as a serious operator. Everyone will apply certain standards but what will be different is the “how” – how receptive we are to the consumer, and how quickly we can apply these standards. This will give us an advantage to attract more guests, investors, and hotels.”, said Federico J. González, CEO, Radisson Hotel Group.
Health and safety first: Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol
More than ever, Radisson Hotel Group’s highest prioritiy is the health and safety of its guests and employees. In May, the Group partnered with SGS, the world’s leading inspection and certification company, to implement the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol, which ensures the highest hygiene standards and strengthen the Group’s existing rigorous sanitation guidelines. These guidelines include hand sanitizing stations at all entrances, the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and protective screens, enhanced cleaning frequency, and comprehensive staff training.
ABOUT RADISSON HOTEL GROUP
Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world’s largest hotel groups with nine distinctive hotel brands, and more than 1,400 hotels in operation and under development in 120 countries. The Group’s overarching brand promise is Every Moment Matters with a signature Yes I Can! service ethos.
Radisson Hotel Group portfolio includes Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Radisson Individuals, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, and prizeotel brought together under one commercial umbrella brand Radisson Hotels.
Radisson Rewards is our global rewards program that delivers unique and personalized ways to create memorable moments that matter to our guests. Radisson Rewards offers exceptional loyalty benefits for our guests, meeting planners, travel agents and business partners.
Radisson Meetings provides tailored solutions for any event or meeting, including hybrid solutions placing guests and their needs at the heart of its offer. Radisson Meetings is built around three strong service commitments: Personal, Professional and Memorable, while delivering on the brilliant basics and being uniquely 100% Carbon Neutral.
More than 100,000 team members work at Radisson Hotel Group and at the hotels licensed to operate in its systems.