Our colleague Srilal Miththapala has sent in the following suggestions which the industry may find useful. The worst is clearly over but it is important to communicate effectively to customers and staff until complete normalcy returns

  • There is much PR that we can do individually to support and augment the government’s communication channels.
  • Be honest and credible in what you communicate to our clients
  • Try to send out the hotels own update of the situ to their client mailing list on a weekly basis. ( I am sure hotel CRM’s have good data bases of clients)
  • Send out the good stories we are hearing from tourists enjoying Sri Lanka currently and from the media
  • Use hotel Facebook page and web sites also to get out the good stories
  • Set up a small crisis management team of senior executives who should meet under the chairmanship of the manager each day to review and plan for the next day
  • Everything must be openly discussed and clear decisions must be made decisively.
  • There must be only one senior spokesman to answer all queries as it makes sense to have one focal point to deal with press and media.
  • Unfortunately in operations you will have to cut down on all temporary staff and casuals
  • Give and exhaust all accumulated leave of permanent staff.
  • Keep staff in the loop. They will be concerned about what’s going to happen to them, so communicating with them is also important.
  • Keep maintenance going, but postpone non essential non critical work ( one of the biggest mistakes we make is to suspend ALL maintenance . This should never be done )
  • Go thru all expenditure and cut down all but essential outflows.
  • Prepare a new 3 month crisis budget and track that. All previous budgets will now be redundant
  • Forget about ARR’s ADR’s and Profit. Just focus on Cash flow. Cash is critical at this time
  • Embark on a comprehensive training program . This is the best time to train and upgrade staff skills
  • Start promoting domestic packages moment the security situation returns to normal.
  • Marketing must be in constant communication with all our partners on a regular basis.