This week, we had a panel discussion with featured speakers, Kevin Carroll, President & CEO of the Hotel Council SF and Melinda Yee Franklin, Managing Director, Corporate & Government Affairs at United Airlines. We talked about the latest Covid-19 updates from the hotel and aviation industry, tips on traveling, and the future of travel. This webinar is moderated by Kory Lam, HKANC board of director, and secretary.
1. Latest COVID-19 updates from hotel and aviation industry
Melinda said airlines' first priority is to keep the travelers safe. They have introduced new policies to lower the spread of the viruses, which include, Pre-boarding health questionnaires, a touchless check-in process, extensive cleaning procedures, minimal F&B services, and less flight capacity, etc. They also enforce the travelers to wear a mask and practice social distancing in the airport.
Kevin mentioned tourism is one of the biggest industries in San Francisco. A lot of hotels have been suffered a massive hit from this pandemic, 25,000 hotel employees are severely affected by it, There are a handful of hotels that are opened during the pandemic to serve the first responders, and hotels are working closely with the City of SF to ensure carrying proper guidelines and standards. He also mentioned the cleanliness is crucial to the San Francisco tourism industry, and conferences and business travelers are the primary income source.
2. Plans on the reopening
Kevin mentioned the hotel industry is ready to reopen for tourism in Mid-August 2020, the hotels will ensure the hotel guests can have a safe experience during the stays.
Melinda said United Airlines restarts the routes to Asia, including Hong Kong in July ever since the service suspension in March and more routes will be reopened gradually.
3. Now and future
Kevin said that the hotel experience will be completely different after the pandemic. He also said the room price might have short-term adjustment after the reopening, in order to recover from the previous economic loss. He further explained there are higher expenses on maintaining the hotel cleanliness, and relatively low demands and income.
4. Tips to travelers
Melinda suggested the travelers should visit airlines' websites to read about the latest updates and requirements, as the guidelines and policies vary between airlines. She also encouraged travelers to prepare their own food and beverage on the flight due to the limited F&B service.
Kevin suggested the travelers should educate themselves about the safety measurements.
At the end of the webinar, both panelists reassured that the hotel and aviation industry is ready for the upcoming travelings, and they hold optimistic for future plans.
We hope our members and friends stay safe and healthy, and get ready for your future trips!