How Local Government Can Assist Hotels During a Post-Pandemic World with the Help of the Community

    By Hassan Nadeem, Assistant General Manager, Best Western Plus South Bay Hotel

    The hotel industry has been stagnant for far too long. But the global COVID-19 pandemic has finally challenged and forced the industry to think outside the box. The industry, for years, has been all about the status quo, the “hows.” How can a hotel make its guests feel welcomed? How can hotels maximize guest’s enjoyment? But, in 2021, the hotel industry must evolve and ask itself, why? Why should a guest stay longer?

    The hotel industry cannot allow itself to plateau and continue to be as it has been in pre-pandemic years. In a world that is but a reflection of what it once was, now is truly the best time for new ideas and to think of new ways to appeal to guests.

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    Los Angeles, for example, boasts over 1,000 hotels in its county. There are hundreds of hotels that are in smaller cities, yet along major boulevards. In this new world, both hotels and the local city municipals have a responsibility to ask themselves how they can work with each other hand-in-hand in order to boost business, allow guests to see highlights of their city, and develop ideas that allow the local community to play a key part in attracting and retaining tourists.

    One proposal that should be considered is creating livable streets. The middle of many major boulevards often consists of parking spaces or remains unused and barren with only a few trees or plants. During the latter half of the pandemic, restaurants had to look for other ways to gain the revenue that they were losing from lack of in-restaurant bookings. Offering open-air dining constituted a win-win situation, as restaurants could continue to operate their tables and continue to provide their customers with an opportunity to enjoy their food. There are countless cities that have started to convert their main boulevard, or at least some parts of it, into livable cities where people are prioritized over parking. This truly rejuvenates the entire community, brings new perspectives to the city and also looks so much better than run-down, dirty vehicles parking there and the rest of the space remaining unused.

    There is no doubt about it that this idea is by no means perfect, but it works in favor of both hotels and cities which are often alongside major boulevards. Hotels will be able to showcase the beautiful cities that they are located in, and cities will be able to showcase the beautiful hotels that they have. Livable streets can feature events, food stalls, and shops, all accessible through walking. They give hotel guests a chance to positively view the location they’re staying in rather than simply using their hotel as a vantage point from which to go to see main attractions. As a reminder: in a world that is but a reflection of what it once was, businesses must rely on new ideas and work hand-in-hand with their communities and local governments to represent what their city means to them, rather than what it could mean.

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