- publication: 9 april 2020
Covid19 and the hospitality industry
Any seismic event provides an opportunity for research-led institutions to conduct research in order to build the body of knowledge but also to contribute to society and support industry. Recent events provide such an opportunity for AIHR and other StendenHMS researchers but we are also very aware that we must tread carefully and ethically, particularly at a time when many people are so worried about their loved ones.
It will be interesting to discover what the hospitality industry in Fryslan and further afield is doing – in terms of how they are communicating with their guests, staff and shareholders; what measures they are taking in order to survive to fight another day; how they are looking after their full-time, part-time and casual staff (or not in some cases); what social media is saying and what is available on Google alerts; what this means for the many sustainable practices that were starting to blossom in hospitality; how the concepts of ‘care for me and you/care for all’ can survive this harsh social and economic shock; what examples there are of hospitable behaviour despite the virus and all that it brings; what methodologies could be used to evaluate this (surveys, narrative analysis, auto-ethnography, participant observation, etc.); whether there is a difference between how multinational chains respond versus independent operators; the impact on booking platforms and the sharing economy (AirBNB), and what we can learn from past ‘shocks’ such as SARS, the GFC, 9/11 and even the 1973 oil crisis for those of us old enough to remember it!
Our Academy Director Marco ten Hoor is in close contact with the industry, and we stand ready to work with him and them to address the questions they may have. Finally, while much of this may clearly not be suitable for student projects, we do want to find ways in which students learn from this crisis – they will face others in the future and as game-changers we want them to be ready to handle those challenges.