July 12, 2020 · Stuart Butler
Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 157 – How Hotels Can Benefit From The Secret COVID Strategies Of Fortune 500 CEOs
In the latest issue (June/July) of Fortune magazine, the CEOs of the 2020 Fortune 500 list were asked how the world is going to change due to the COVID pandemic. You can read the full article here, https://fortune.com/2020/05/14/fortune-500-ceo-survey-coronavirus-pandemic-predictions/. But first, here’s our big takeaways and how they may impact the hotel industry.
Stat of the week
This week’s stat of the week show’s the polarization between people who are Pro-face mask and those who are stubborn. We’ve added a little infographic to educate folks that may be on the fence.
- Big Takeaway #1:
The top CEOs are expecting this recovery to take a while. How long? 52% expect it won’t be until the 1st quarter of 2022 (nearly two years away) and another 25% are expecting Q1 of 2023!
When you compare this with the data from our 2020 COVID Hotelier Sentiment Study (question 11), you find that Hoteliers are much more bullish on the recovery with 41% expecting business to fully recover within 12 months and only 14% expecting greater than 2 years.
Note that the questions were worded differently and this is not a true apples-to-apples comparison.
- Big Takeaway #2:
The majority of CEOs don’t expect Business Travel to EVER return to the level it was pre COVID. To a hotelier this means a permanent shift in how lucrative the business (and tradeshow) market will be in the future.
This pandemic has shown how much work can be done remotely and that a greater reliance on online meetings will reduce expenses while improving efficiency.
If a CEO forecasts business travel will never return to previous levels, is this a self-fulfilling prophecy?
- Big Takeaway #3:
75% of CEOs are expecting the significant tech transformations coming out of the pandemic. The realization that, “working from home works” as is quoted in the article/infographic is going to drive the world’s major companies to accelerate the pace of technological advancements and implementations.
While the business traveler may be a shrinking market, those travelers may very well rely more heavily on your hotel’s tech infrastructure. The question then becomes, if the business traveler is in decline, how can we maximize the ability for a leisure traveler to work from vacation?
- Big Takeaway #4:
When the top CEOs were asked what is going to change when the pandemic passes it comes down to two main items. First, business travel is never going to be the same as we have also highlighted in takeaway #2. Hoteliers are going to need to develop strategies to both adapt to fewer business travelers and attract as many of the remaining travelers as possible. Secondly trust is going to be a major factor in decision making. Whether that be trust in a destination, hotel brand, or company; trust will be a deciding factor in any form of business.
(side note: sorry Earth, ain’t nobody got time for dat)
- Big Takeaway #5:
The trend toward a Stakeholder Capitalism Model compared to a Shareholder Model will accelerate, according to 48% of CEOs. Stakeholder Capitalism makes a shift from only focusing on return to the stockholders, but also the worker, community, environment, etc. Most CEOs (64% of those surveyed) believe most good companies have already invested/acted in this model while 25% see this as a major change in business direction.
From a hoteliers perspective this will play an important role in operations in terms of employee benefits, surrounding communities, and guest relations. If a hotel wishes to keep their best employees, they would be wise to understand this trend. Think about it as the Chick-fil-a model.
For more information about Stakeholder Capitalism check out https://www.investopedia.com/stakeholder-capitalism-4774323.
In The Newsaroos:
- Disney is reopening on July 11th, and the world watches with bated breath:
Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @_travelboom or [email protected]
IN ADDITION TO THE PODCAST WE HAVE A BUNCH OF WHITEPAPERS AND STUDIES YOU CAN DOWNLOAD HERE