The on-going pandemic has had a uniform effect on almost all industries. Amongst them, one very dear to most of you out there, is the hospitality industry. Restaurants, pubs, hotels amongst others are sure to be looking at ways to find a middle ground to regain momentum amidst this crisis. With curbs on social gatherings becoming a norm for the new normal, your local watering hole or favourite nightlife spots are sure to be sitting on an uncertain fence anxious to see what the future has in store.
Having a number of F&B and hotel projects in my firm myself, I for one am sitting right alongside the owners of these establishments. The hospitality industry has been rather resilient over the last two decades with various other viruses and crises to tide over before. The SARS virus impacted the industry drastically in 2003. There was a 50% decline in hotel bookings, which led to a drop of nearly 9.4 million in international tourist arrivals, with losses estimated at between $30 billion and $50 billion. Yet, by 2006, the industry managed to bounce back, clocking numbers similar or more than what it had registered pre SARS. Similarly, the global recession that hit our economy in the following years, also threatened to pull down the industry’s rhythm, but yet again, the resilience was manifest.