The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 transformed the global hospitality industry as governments imposed lockdowns in an attempt to stop the virus’s spread, which halted global travel and inhibited the vast majority of in-person events.
This was an unprecedented challenge for the industry, which was required to quickly adapt and innovate in order to survive. For many, this meant rapidly digitalizing their services, reducing costs and finding new uses for unused real estate.
Now, a few years down the line, and the picture is far less gloomy. The industry has bounced back and proven to be hugely resilient and innovative, coming through the worst of the pandemic and discovering new ways to provide services to clients. Businesses that successfully adapted are thriving as they seek new opportunities in emerging frontiers like the metaverse, wellness and sustainable travel, thereby supplementing their more traditional business models.
However, the hospitality industry is now facing several other factors that are driving significant change and providing fresh challenges and opportunities. Some of these factors include a growing stakeholder focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, global economic volatility and the evolution of consumer behaviors.
Shareholders, consumers, employees and regulators are increasingly scrutinizing businesses’ ESG credentials, with sustainability at the forefront. This is forcing the hospitality industry to work harder to understand its impact on the environment and how to mitigate it.