The Asia-Pacific (APAC) hotel region is facing its own unique set of challenges.
NB: This is an article from SHR
As it adapts and moves forward in the COVID era hospitality world, in addition jumping many of the industry’s common hurdles. It’s requiring APAC operators to embrace change, and lots of new technology, in order to thrive. The good news is, the APAC hospitality market is currently on the mend, tempered by recent concerns of new outbreaks in Shanghai and Beijing.
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According to the WTTC, recovery of the Asia Pacific Travel & Tourism sector has soared ahead of many regions in the world, with year on year GDP contribution growth of 36.3 percent in 2021, ahead of the global average of 30.7 percent, which represents an increase of $515 billion. A similar year on year rise of 35.8% is expected in 2022, representing an increase of US$ 692 billion.
Shifting Demand Patterns
What’s important to note, though, is that current demand is almost entirely driven by domestic leisure travelers at present, with demand especially strong for resort type hotels and hotels in suburban areas. Business travel recovery outlook at the moment, meanwhile, is not nearly as optimistic; at least until the applicable governments in the region lift their quarantine policies for inbound business travelers.
That means a new mindset for many hoteliers, particularly at hotels that were previously enjoying a large chunk of the business travel pie, but are now relying more on leisure demand instead. In order to get in front of this shifting segment of travelers, hotel operators are adapting their pricing, marketing and distribution strategies. More than ever, hoteliers need to adjust room pricing dynamically, with a larger range than has been seen in the past.
The Labor Squeeze
Another key challenge facing APAC hotel operators in the current COVID era hospitality climate is recurring staffing difficulties, which has become a widespread problem for the hotel industry. It is very difficult to hire and retain housekeeping and front desk staff, especially in the pandemic era world. Hotel technology is not mature enough yet to fully replace some human positions, further amplifying the staffing issue.