(Re)acting to the COVID-19 Crisis in Hotels: The Perceptions of Portuguese Managers

(Re)acting to the COVID-19 Crisis in Hotels: The Perceptions of Portuguese Managers

António Melo, Sandra Vieira Vasconcelos, Carla Melo, Miguel Silva
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8231-2.ch024
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Aiming to provide an overview of the hospitality sector in Portugal amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in this chapter, the authors call on hotel managers and their perceptions to identify key dimensions and relevant crisis management practices within this unique setting. Supported by eight semi-structured interviews, it focuses on operations, human resources, and marketing, putting forward practical examples of the measures and changes introduced to create a safe environment for hotel guests and staff. Additionally, drawing from content analysis and the ensuing emerging categories, the chapter also provides relevant insights as to the most valued skills at this particular time. Standing out as key skills, adaptability, leadership, teamwork, and motivation are considered to be instrumental for businesses' sustainability and recovery, being the most valued by managers.
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According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals were recorded globally in 2019. An increase of 4% regarding the numbers recorded the previous year, being that the same growth rate was forecast for 2020. However, in January 2020, the continuous growth that marked the tourism industry for a decade (UNWTO, 2020), was abruptly halted by the declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization (WHO). Following confirmation, this health emergency caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, was officially declared a pandemic on March 11. Since then, the COVID-19 outbreak has had an overwhelming impact on global economy, bringing many constraints to several businesses and industries, including tourism and hospitality.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Health and Safety: An arising dimension in hotels that results from the measures that were implemented in order to make hotel guests feel safe.

Crisis Management: The ability to act in an organized and efficient way when confronted with difficult or urgent situations.

Problem Solving: The process of finding solutions to matters that can occur unexpectedly.

Adaptability: The capacity of adapting to different situations and contexts.

Resilience: The ability to endure and persist throughout demanding circumstances.

Customer Relationship: How an organization and its customers feel and behave towards each other over a certain period of time.

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