The Accommodation Panel supports WYSE’s safe accommodation self-declaration
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For obvious reasons, our industry is undergoing some very drastic changes. I can hardly believe that it was only nine months ago that the Accommodation Sector Panel was dealing with urgent topics as Brexit, overtourism and OTAs. Now the world is fighting a pandemic and apart from being hit, our industry has been forced to shift on safety and hygiene. Who would have thought that in this predominantly people-based industry where everybody wants to enjoy their stay, sanitisation and social distancing would have become a key priority?
The impact of COVID-19 on our sector is huge but from what I have seen the sense of community, collective spirit and willingness to be pro-active and take action to adapt to the situation and mitigate the impact has been overwhelming. Moreover, all the hostels and student accommodation providers have continued to hold onto the core values of what they are: a great place to stay, meet fellow travellers and share unforgettable experiences.
Apart from providing a safe place for travellers to gather, share stories and make new friends, hostels are also taking steps to protect this unique concept for a post-COVID era. I would like to express my deep admiration for the braveness of so many accommodation providers who found new, unexpected and very creative ways to make revenue. They kept their eyes wide open for an opportunity and pivoted their business by offering co-working spaces, domestic travel packages, mid and long-stays for students or as a temporary homestay for medical staff.
Today the health and wellbeing of our guests and employees is our highest priority and as an industry, we have taken numerous measures to ensure their protection. To show that we are more than capable of operating, I would recommend that if you haven’t yet, you sign the WYSE COVID-19 Safe Accommodation Declaration, to show that you adhere to local and national standards of operating, as well as to WYSE Travel Confederation’s standards of guest care. By the help of our community, we can show the world that this sector shows its maturity and that are preparing to welcome new guests again. To let them know that we are ready whenever they are.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to pose your questions or add your thoughts and comments on the below form. The Accommodation Panel is here to help you and your suggestions will help us to prioritise what is most needed within the community, so thank you for sharing your ideas below!
Stay positive, stay focussed and stay well.
Pieter van der Zeeuw, Chairman of the Accommodation Panel
CEO, Hans Brinker Hostels
The Accommodation Panel
Kevin McCormick, Head of Commercial Operations, University of Bath
Alex Rivers, Managing Director, Astor Hotels
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