The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc with many industries, but few have suffered more than the hospitality industry. Not only has leisure travel all but disappeared, but businesses, too, have cancelled all meetings, conferences and other bookings. And, with the lack of clarity about operating conditions, and about evolving customer preferences, hotels are facing an extremely complex challenge.
Businesses can’t recover from this type of existential crises alone, or by doing business as usual. Hence, Liyuan Wei and I developed and used a framework to help businesses navigate this crisis. The framework guides businesses in engaging their key stakeholders, proactively, in a three-stage process:
We present this framework, and report on its usefulness in a paper recently published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management. The paper is entitled “Stakeholders of the World, Unite!: Hospitality in the time of COVID-19”. In this paper, we illustrate the application of the framework with the case study of a boutique hotel located in England, UK.
First, we helped the hotel’s management identify the key stakeholders:
Then, we set to work with the salient stakeholders, in order to:
- Identify the main threats presented by COVID-19, and identifying the interdependencies between the various stakeholders;
- Consider possible solutions to the challenges identified; and
- Develop new ways of doing business, which included the creation of new partnerships.
Figure 2 summarises this process:
Let me know what you think of this work. And, if you are business who needs help with their marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to contact me.