This year’s Hunter Conference took place at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, in the heart of downtown, from March 21-24th. Much of this year’s panel discussion focused on how businesses navigated the pandemic, notably spelling out concerns around housekeeping, labor shortages, increased labor costs, inflation, and supply chain.
Other speakers noted increasing demand for travel, post-pandemic renovations, and the impact of a likely economic downturn.
- Travel is on the rise. According to Adam Sacks, President of Tourism Economics, U.S. households are in a position of strength, as the pent-up demand and prioritization for travel is very real. As inbound international travel is anticipated to increase, U.S. businesses are still restoring necessary travel, leading to uptick in midweek hotel stays.
- Hotel construction and design. Construction is up this year, with select service representing 50%. Also, future hotel design implementation will be influenced by the upcoming generations. (Ex. Due to increased interest in wellness-driven experiences, there is an increasing demand for guest room fitness equipment.)
- RevPAR set to grow despite impending recession. Demand and revenue per available room (RevPAR) are trending upward, although admittedly not back to 2019 levels – the consensus benchmark.
Actabl’s VP of Brand Strategy Adam Glickman, along with panelists from HVMG, AAHOA, Davidson, and Hotel Development & Management, touched on these points in the “Labor Issues: Challenges & Opportunities” discussion held on March 24th.
“The national wage of a housekeeper in the U.S. is now basically on par with a guest service or a front desk agent. Five or six years ago, that was not the case. So, at a hotel-by-hotel level or at a management company level, being able to compare the wages that you're offering against who you anticipate are your key team member competitors that are also trying to steal those same team members. That's key in order to get that team member in the door.”
Sue Sanders, EVP & Chief HR Officer at HVMG, highlighted Hotel Effectiveness’ PerfectEngage as a solution for clear and timely hotel staff communication, especially crucial as hotels recover post-pandemic. “That’s always a challenge in our industry – how do you reach everyone? Not just the people who have email. [PerfectEngage is] a really great product; we’re meeting them where they [staff] are [on their phones].”
PerfectEngage provides hotel managers with complete control in one, single app for communications, scheduling, time-off requests, and wellness check-ins built into the existing Hotel Effectiveness employee app, MyHotelTeam. It is the easiest and most reliable way for hotel managers to target specific employees or groups for immediate, secure messages without exchanging personal contact details.
To learn more about Actabl’s labor cost solutions, click here.