These strange times certainly need no introduction. No one could have fully planned for this – managing a pandemic certainly didn’t fall into anyone’s Plan A.
There is a pressing sense of urgency now in our industry to swiftly implement a Plan B; that being a contingency plan, one of immediate damage control and bandaging up any splits to the well oiled system that rolled so diligently before this.
However, we feel strongly that a Plan B does not need to be a second rate nor inferior route compared to one’s original Plan A; in fact, we feel quite the contrary – now is the perfect time to react mindfully & proactively to the changing times. It is the moment to seek to adopt a strong alternative strategy, one where Plan B has a greater consciousness, more relevance, and deeper authenticity than Plan A ever had.
This pandemic has become a part of everyone’s lives; no one will be left unaffected by it in any way. From the social, psychological, and anthropological impacts, to the business & economic consequences – all types of businesses and industries, both big and small, are feeling it. As a family-run company here at Palatino, we know how heavy the weight of uncertainty can feel.
In all this, however, one thing is certain: there is never a better time than now to start THINKING. Never too soon to begin brainstorming with your team (albeit, over digital platforms). It’s the moment to re-invigorate, reassess and rejuvenate offerings. It’s the chance to structure a strong and pertinent Plan B. This doesn’t mean spending or investing budget. It just means thinking, in the purest of senses. Plan B is not a second tier option; it’s a redefined and more apropos Plan A.
As hoteliers, it’s vital to keep nimble to adapt to the ever changing circumstances – and, most importantly – to keep ideas generating and innovation flowing. Now is not the time to fix old processes to reinstate them to their original form, but instead to look at how to better improve them and bring them to a more apt state.
We are so proud to see so many of our clients whom we work closely with continuing to push ahead and pioneer in their planning & strategy. When business revs up again – and it will – they will certainly be well ahead of the rest, not following the trend, but rather creating it. We strongly believe that “anything can be made from something and something can be made from nothing”. We need to use this time to digest these unprecedented times and mindfully respond to them. The industry will resume – it just won’t be the same.
After this period of isolation, social distancing, and days spent in our homes, many will have realised what can be achieved within those four walls, both personally and professionally. It is argued that the expectations for hotels to deliver to guests well beyond what can be created at home is going to be much higher than before. People will no doubt be travelling differently to the past.
Just like our grandparents or parent’s generations who had developed a certain ‘waste not, want not’ mindset from the war years, when this pandemic has subsided, this generation will be irreversibly altered – our priorities, our expectations, how we live, how we consume, what gives us pleasure or anxiety, how we interact, how we travel, all will be affected in some way by this.
In years to come, we will tell our children about that time a virus brought our world to a standstill. A time when we were kept apart from friends, family and colleagues, often for months on end. A time when outdoor activity was restricted and supermarket shelves were emptied. A time when we worked from home. When we reminisced, with deep gratitude, about the travels we went on before this and the exploring we yearned to do afterwards. We’ll speak about how planes dramatically stopped flying through our skies and cars limited their travel on our roads. A time when borders closed. A time that felt peculiar and unsettling, somewhat apocalyptic. But, despite all this, we’ll also tell our children about all the silver linings that came with that. How it was a time when families spent more time together than most ever got to do. How the air felt fresher, the sky brighter, and the seas clearer. A time when small steps were sweet and beauty was found once again in the mundane, in the everyday. Simplicity was pleasure. We will speak of this period as being the defining moment when greater respect was shown to those who worked on the frontline to ensure we were kept safe and kept healthy, and to those essential workers who made sure we got our deliveries, stacked the shelves, or worked the counters to enable us to buy our produce. It was a period of time where people clapped & sang out of their windows, made music in their driveways, drew chalk rainbows in the streets, and smelled all the flowers that came into sight. It was a time we focused on being present; we took a greater look at wellness, and the value of nurturing ourselves and each other.
As a result of these unprecedented times, we believe there will be a beautiful surge of innovation, problem-solving, reinvention, cooperation, social responsibility, and thinking ‘outside the box’, and this will certainly be the case within the luxury hospitality industry.