Even for those who have been in the travel industry their entire careers, we have never experienced what we have the past few weeks. We will overcome, but this pandemic will inevitably change how we manage our travel programs and more.
From independent hotels to hotel chains, every hotel has been impacted. Some have closed floors, while others closed entire properties, or now rely on minimal staff in their headquarters to manage hotel inventory for all properties.
RoomIt by CWT has built strong relationships with our supplier partners and our focus is to work closely with them to ensure travelers have the most up-to-date information about hotel closures and booking cancellations. We have also seen hotels remove inventory for periods of time, which they could update at any moment in time, to reflect the current and often extending situation.
RoomIt ensures that your travelers have the most accurate information:
- As hotels remove inventory in their property management systems, this is automatically reflected across all of RoomIt’s booking channels; online, offline and on mobile. RoomIt only serves up real-time inventory, directly connected to the hotels
- Travelers are contacted through the information we have on record on their profile. Travelers may receive notifications from hotels and from CWT, depending on the time frame of the cancelation
- In the rare event that you have a charge for a hotel that was canceled, your TX team is ready to assist
As an industry, we’re truly in this together. We have been encouraged by how well the hospitality industry has been responding to the COVID-19 threat:
- Many hotel chains and independents have introduced more flexible cancellation possibilities, even on traditionally restrictive, non-refundable and advanced booking rates, to reflect stay-at-home orders in place across many countries and the limited means of transportation.
- In addition, hotels that remain open in some capacity are implementing new safety measures to protect guests, such as providing masks at check-in, hand sanitizer, upgrading sanitation of high touch areas, and improved sterilization of chinaware, cutlery, glasses etc.
- We’ve also seen hotels demonstrate immense solidarity with medical staff. Those located near hospitals have lowered their rates, often to at-cost levels, offering medical staff a bed closer to their workplace so that they can rest after their strenuous days at the hospital.
We’d like our clients, travelers and suppliers to know that RoomIt is here to offer our knowledge and support through these difficult and uncertain times. When the world emerges with a new appreciation for travel and the importance of face-to-face communication, we will be ready to help you continue achieving your objectives. Until then, we have a few recommendations for travelers and suppliers.
Recommendations for travelers
- As the situation continues to change very quickly, sometimes in a matter of minutes, we recommend that travelers check that the hotel is open before traveling this month.
- For bookings in May and beyond, we also recommend taking extra caution when the time comes to travel as hotels may only be removing inventory a few weeks at a time.
- Travelers must make sure their contact details are updated in the traveler profile; this means their TMCs or hotel can contact them if their travel plans are impacted.
Recommendations for hotel suppliers
Hotel suppliers can do the following to prepare for the weeks ahead:
- As properties begin to reopen in the coming weeks and months, we continue to encourage use of cancellation flexibility to accelerate future booking growth.
- As companies look to grow their business after months of quarantine, they will again turn to travel to build relationships and close deals. With budgets impacted, travel managers will need to balance this with a renewed emphasis on savings, flexibility and cost avoidance, and hotels should ensure they can provide rates that deliver this.
For the latest on COVID-19, please visit CWT's dedicated coronavirus page.