Editor’s Letter: Change is constant
Claudia de Brito talks about why we shouldn’t fear an evolving hospitality industry
The name of our industry, hospitality, is derived from the Latin word hospes, which interestingly means both guest and host. Before hotels and guest houses became commonplace, locals would provide travellers with shelter and a safe space to rest before continuing their journey.
Those humble beginnings have evolved into something more sophisticated. An industry on which economies around the world rely and an industry that has been reeling from the impact of a global pandemic. Hopefully the worst of it is behind us. Still, as regional travel begins to pick up and staycationers start flowing back into hotels, it’s important to recognise that things will never be the same.
Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If we look at the way that air travel was impacted post-9/11, the initial downturn and hesitation to fly again soon gave way to what a lot of experts refer to as the golden age of aviation, with flights becoming more accessible than ever before.
Now, looking back, it seems strange that passengers weren’t thoroughly screened before boarding a plane. The same will happen with hospitality. The initial hesitation will give way to wondering why we weren’t prioritising health, safety and sanitisation in the first place.
The lasting effects on the hospitality sector will take some time to emerge and when they do, we’ll adapt until they become normal. Though we may currently be subject to new and constantly evolving regulations and the accommodation may have changed a bit (or, a lot) and since those early days, the concept remains the same and, especially now, the notion of a host providing a safe space for a guest is more pertinent than ever.
Claudia de Brito, Editor