Super Unfriendly Hospitality Industry Guest: 'Novel Coronavirus'
The implication of Covid- 19 are widespread throughout the economy especially hospitality industry. In every country in the world, they are facing the effect of the emergence of the corona virus pandemic, including Indonesia. So, what is Covid- 19 ? Covid-19 is a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Viruses and this new disease were discovered after the spread that appeared began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Indonesia itself, data as of 20/3/2020, the number of corona positive patients in Indonesia continues to show a significant increase. Due to a significant increase the positive cases of the corona virus in Indonesia, the government implemented several policies like limitation the space for citizens for physical distancing by closing tourist attractions, malls, inter-city travel, even airport operation, and etc. Therefore, it makes the hospitality industry in Indonesia difficult to operate so it becomes ineffective as before. Take a deep breath. The question is: How Indonesia facing, and keep hospitality industry on track as global travel slows to a halt ?
Hariyadi Sukamdani, Chairperson of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) said on Monday (6/4/2020) there were already 1,226 hotels closed. The closure of the hotel affected about 150,000 employees threatened with layoffs. The weakening of the tourism industry due to the corona virus has a major impact on tourist cities in Indonesia. Some tourist destinations such as Bali, Yogyakarta and Lombok experienced a drastic decline in visitors.
Bali is one of the best-selling tourist destinations in Indonesia that most attracts foreign tourists. Foreign tourists are the number one source of income from the Island of the Gods. Moreover, tourists from China are the biggest contributors. Because of the corona virus, the number of Chinese tourists to Bali has also dropped dramatically. Comparison of tourist visits from 2019 and 2020 dropped dramatically, from 2 million to only 4 thousand tourists. The beach looks deserted by visitors. There are only business managers who sit relaxed on the coast. Some cruise ships even decide not to dock in Bali.
The same thing also happened in Yogyakarta. Foreign tourists who are usually seen passing by on the road now look almost non-existent. The hotels were quiet because no one inhabited. Although March is included in the low season category where tourists visit less frequently, the number of foreign tourists coming to Yogyakarta remains less than usual. This was especially seen in the Sosrowijawan region. The area is famous as an international village where many tourists stay. Even so, the impact of the corona virus in Yogyakarta is not as significant as in Bali. According to the Yogyakarta Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) Yogyakarta, cancellations and delays in hotel room bookings have only reached two percent.
In addition, recorded the number of hotel occupants in Bali fell to 70 percent since the corona virus spread and this is very influential on the welfare of employees and entrepreneurs in the realm of hospitality. With that, the provincial government of Bali has appealed to hotel and travel entrepreneurs to avoid termination of employment. With this policy, some employees in hospitality, restaurants are only paid half the salary. These cuts are needed to keep the business going but also maintain the economic needs of the employees. In fact, this does not only happen in major tourist cities in Indonesia, but there are also many local tourist destinations affected by this pandemic. Thus, both workers, tourists, all affected especially for employers and the Indonesian economy.
The impact of the corona virus on the economy in Indonesia is inevitable. Many policies have emerged in order to maintain economic stability in its path. Like it, new normal, which has now begun to be done in order to start a new life in the middle of this pandemic. By paying close attention to health protocols, the government urges all new normal people to be able to be disciplined in complying with every government policy in order to improve both economic and health conditions. In the world of tourism, it is very helpful for this new normal policy, because tourism operations are allowed to open again. However, there are some important aspects that must be considered in this new normal. As reported by kompas.com
New Normal was compiled by WTTC based on guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Through its release, WTTC has arranged several protocols that need to be considered for the tourism industry such as hospitality.
1. Room cards and keys will be the focus of hotel cleaners Some of the points most frequently touched in hotels such as cards and room keys will be the focus of attention for janitors. WTTC recommends that the hotel re-evaluate the guidelines for janitors. The evaluation is focused mainly on the areas or points most frequently touched by humans, both officers and guests.
2. Make sure the social distance for guests Hotel area will apply social distancing or social distance for guests. WTTC recommends that the hotel provide a marker or information about it at the hotel. Matters regarding social distance must also be in the guide inside the hotel elevator.
3. Retrain hotel staff with regard to the health protocol Covid-19 Hotel management can conduct training for relevant staff in infection control such as social distance and improved hygiene measures. This includes washing hands and using masks and gloves. All foreign goods must be removed throughout the hotel.
4. Remove unnecessary items in the hotel Illustration of the hotel. In order to avoid physical contact or contact from foreign objects, the hotel should eliminate unnecessary items. These objects are considered to be a conduit of a virus, if touched by humans.
5. The hotel introduces payment for rooms without physical contact. If possible, WTTC recommends paying hotel room rentals, without physical contact. The suggestion, the hotel can integrate technology to enable automatic payments that can be done through an online system.
6. Offering room service without physical contact The hotel is expected to provide services to guests without direct physical contact. The staff or waiters at the hotel can send services to guests with no direct contact, so the potential spread of the corona virus can be prevented.
7. Communicate to guests about the New Normal protocol The hotel is expected to have clear, consistent, and continuing communication with customers. Communication is important, especially regarding the existence of new health and hygiene regulations or protocols. This can be done both digitally and physically at the hotel.
8. Opening hotel restaurants and meeting rooms with health and hygiene protocols The hotel is expected to be able to re-open restaurants and meeting rooms by prioritizing health and hygiene protocols.
With this recommendation, Indonesia could once again operate the tourism industry in hospitality. In addition to helping entrepreneurs and employees, hospitality in Indonesia will be trusted again by tourists so they will be drawn back to travel to Indonesia. And, finally the economy in the midst of this pandemic will also be better.