Dear Accommodation Members,
I am sure all of us have seen highs and lows over the past few months. The hospitality industry has been forced to be constantly adjusting, which is a major challenge. Nevertheless the Accommodation Sector Panel is looking back on several positive developments. Re-opened borders were followed by a flow of young continental travellers craving a change of scenery. Prolonged lockdowns prompted a revival of domestic travel and renewed interest for remote areas. In many ways, demand picked up again and true hostel life re-emerged. Of course, the occupancy rates are still far from pre-pandemic levels, but we clearly see a turning point, with even a gentle rise in school and group requests coming in.
Another game changer was the 30th edition of WYSTC, the first hybrid edition since its inception in 1992. It was reassuring to see so many business appointments taking place and hear the enthusiasm about being back in the marketplace. The excitement of the onsite delegates about meeting fellow members again was contagious. After all, this is a people’s business. With that in mind, I recommend you join STAY WYSE Amsterdam & Online, the conference that brings together the hostel industry. You can register here.
The Panel members have been meeting bi-monthly to discuss industry trends and developments. A few things stood out during these calls, such as the best timing for re-opening and booking, and revenue management. But more than anything we talked about the workforce. The pandemic has pushed staff shortages to crisis levels, but even more alarming is that many hospitality workers who were made redundant are not even considering a return, for obvious reasons: the rate of pay, irregular working hours and workload.
How do we maintain service levels when there are simply not enough people? Where do you recruit housekeepers, kitchen staff, bartenders and other hourly workers? What are the best ways to brand the hostel industry to attract talent?
I would like to hear your opinion and ideas on this subject, and share possible solutions for the sector, both short and long term. Please join us for the next Accommodation Panel Member Connect session on Tuesday, 30 November at 17:00 CET.
If you have any feedback or suggestions for us prior to the session, feel free to get in touch via the form below.
I look forward to catching up with you!
Pieter van der Zeeuw, Chairman
CEO, Hans Brinker Hostels