Flexibility leads to loyalty according to PATA CEO

Mario Hardy says the industry has to nurture relationships and make allowances that people will remember

CEO Mario Hardy
CEO Mario Hardy

Fee-waiving initiatives are becoming an increasingly prevalent practice at the moment, with hotels and airlines alike taking part. Travel restrictions and bans put into question the holiday plans of people around the globe, with countries enforcing stricter policies each day. Companies in the hospitality and travel sector have to accept the fact that cancellations will be made and offer greater flexibility to guests.  

According to Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) CEO Mario Hardy, this is exactly the right approach if a company wants to come out the other side 2020. In an interview with Hotelier Middle East, Hardy said companies must “either provide refunds, to give people the ability to rebook at a later stage or to give credits or points to exchange for future bookings.” Hardy added: “It’s a wise approach for hotels, airlines, tour operators and travel agencies to provide some flexibility. Everyone is having this challenge at the moment so if you give a little more flexibility and you’re generous to your guests, you’ll earn their loyalty over time. People will remember that.”

Hardy also touched on nurturing relationships. He suggested: “You can still send some messages of passion and support to China to show that you care. This will lead to a strong bond with your suppliers in China. If you offer flexibility to those suppliers, they’ll remember that once the industry recovers.”

PATA is monitoring the current situation closely and recently opted to cancel its annual summit this year.

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