On this episode of the MarketScale Hospitality podcast, Voice of B2B Daniel Litwin was joined by Dmitry Koltunov, Co-Founder and CTO of ALICE, to highlight the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hoteliers and the hospitality industry as a whole.

ALICE is a platform designed to help hoteliers manage staff work and guest communication across every area of their operations.

Because of the platform’s wide-ranging and global customer base, Koltunov said he’s gotten a good look at exactly how the spread of the novel coronavirus has sent shockwaves through the hospitality and service industries.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of conversations with properties about what’s going on, and the thing that sticks out the most to me is that everyone says, in one way or another, ‘We are in uncharted waters,’” he said. “’We’ve never seen something like this before.’”

The unique nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has targeted leisure and business travel, which make up the backbone of hotel business.

“None of those things are really happening right now,” Koltunov said. “People aren’t taking vacations, and people aren’t traveling for work. … So we’re having hotels that have never closed have to start closing.”

That forced closure is essentially making typically year-round hotels attempt to mimic the best practices of seasonal hotels that are accustomed to dormant periods.

One of the lasting outcomes of the current uncertain period, Koltunov said, will be a greater emphasis on a hotel’s digital communications strategy as the kinds of digital correspondence that people are using by necessity now become more commonplace even during “normal” operations.

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