NoVacancy 2021: COVID “a humbling experience” for industry leaders

Michael Johnson CEO of TAA led the discussion at the Leadership panel: How have you coped with the pandemic?  

When four highly respected industry CEOs met at the Hotel Leadership Sumit at NoVacancy on Tuesday they admitted that leading their businesses through a pandemic has been a “very humbling experience”.

Accom News team at NoVacancy 2021

Michael Johnson CEO of TAA led the discussion at the Leadership panel: How have you coped with the pandemic?  

Dave Baswal Managing Director ANZ Ovolo hotels described 2020 as a year of uncertainty that is still with us, he gave the example of this week’s sudden Melbourne shut down, followed by hotel cancellations.

He explained that without jobseeker payments both employers and employees are left very uncertain about the future.

COVID, he admitted is something we will all have to live with for a very long time and he called for more consultation and a detailed plan from the government so that the accommodation and tourism industry can negate a better way forward.

He revealed that the pandemic was a humbling experience for CEOs because the COVID situation really highlighted how very important people are to this business, he said not just guests but also all staff must be valued, trained, rewarded, and retained.

Summing up he said that in a post COVID world people must be at the top of our list of priorities alongside re-igniting passion, investing in technology, and offering good accommodation experiences.

He pleaded for the government to do better with both accommodation industry investment and with planning for a COVID-managed future.

Geoff York CEO of Crystalbrook Collection agreed that the government needs to draw a line in the sand for both the opening of international borders and for the vaccine rollout.

He would also like to see an extension of a bubble with countries other than just New Zealand.

He said that although the pandemic was very disruptive to the Crystalbrook Collection with the delayed opening of a new luxury Cairns property, the experience of COVID gave the hotel group an opportunity to go back to their roots and look at the original values of the brand.

Graham Perry Managing Director of BWH Hotel Group also agreed that COVID had been a humbling experience for him, but he admitted that it has also led to positive outcomes for the business.

He revealed that BWH has seen a dramatic rise in direct bookings!

He put this down to guests wanting to go straight to the source, for safety reasons and to ensure free cancellations.

He expressed confidence that Australians will continue to gravitate back to trusted brands and that they will continue to travel domestically.

However, he added that the industry alongside the government must invest more in regional travel.

Related Articles

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
WP Tumblr Auto Publish Powered By :
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x