Hotel of Cadena Morales restart operation
Alejandro Morales, Executive Vice President of the Germán Morales Hotels chain, announced the opening of his 11 hotels of the bh, bs Suites, be and EK brands, starting on September 15
The hotels bh Parque 93, bh La Quinta, bh Bicentenario, Mercure bh El Retiro, Mercure bh Zona Financiera, bs Rosales, EK Hotel, in Bogotá; bh El Poblado in Medellín, bh Barranquilla in the Atlantic capital, be La Sierra in Santa Marta, will start operating after five months of inactivity. The bh Usaquén hotel was the only hotel in the chain that did not close its operation, as this is a mixed format between attention to medical and corporate tourism.
“We started complying with all the biosafety regulations. We guarantee our guests all possible security so that they can stay in hotels without any concern. Security, security, security is the watchword. We have thoroughly adopted all the protocols and we have the certification of the SGS, the entity in charge of the corresponding audit ”, indicated Morales.
For the executive, returning to the occupancy rates that the hotel sector used to have will not be before 2023. 2021 and 2022 will have a process of increasing occupancy and, only at the end of 2023 will the occupations begin before of the pandemic.
“Studies at the international and national level indicate that the recovery of the sector will be quite slow and gradual; therefore, we carry out a reopening process adjusting to low occupancy rates, which leads us to make adjustments with defined service scopes to comply with biosafety standards, "explained Morales. "But also because we see that our guests, as is happening in general in the world, will be careful to demand hotel services, that is why we started with 30% of employee money."
Morales said that facing this pandemic situation has been a very hard process and made a strong criticism of the bank. “Despite the good intentions of the government, I want to make that clear, the bank has not behaved as it should be. He turned his back on the tourism industry, despite the guarantees offered by the government to back loans. They are not interested in this sector because of the risk levels. It does not believe that the sector will succeed and that is why it does not grant credits. "
Prepared for the opening of the chain's hotels, he affirmed that “what hotel entrepreneurs have to look for is to lose less than what a hotel loses when it is closed, to lower our operational balance points to the minimum possible and to hold out until March 2021 , when we believe that the situation will begin to recover at a greater speed. If the vaccine against COVID 19 takes a long time, we are going to live in a state of very great uncertainty in the business and in all economies; but if the vaccine comes out sooner rather than later it will be a factor of clarity and of eliminating all this uncertainty that we live in the planet ”.
Regarding the expectations of the start-up, the hotel leader said to be realistic: “Occupations will be extremely low, with the problem that, as there are no international flights, as in the case of Bogotá, the hotel plant will have very low occupancy rates because It will depend on domestic demand, which mostly arrives by plane, flights that only have an approved frequency of 12%. Our hotels in Barraquilla, Medellín and Santa Marta will respond better "
Regarding the strategy to stay while the situation is regularized, Alejandro Morales said “to handle with a magnifying glass the new structure of expenses and costs that we must apply to lower the balance points of operations and adjust more to very low occupancy levels that will increase, but it won't be in 2021 or 2022 ”.
His greatest teaching at the business level: “very low indebtedness. The bank does not forgive, and the financial costs and obligations are carried by companies, people. Second, have low cost, flexible structures, so that in the face of such a serious eventuality as the one we are experiencing, companies can adjust more easily and faster than when they have inflexible structures. Thanks to our experience in the past, our adjustment process in this situation has been accelerated. And one thing that people are taught, but not applied: save, save, save. Those companies that had savings, those people that had savings get ahead, companies and people with dissaving, were in the middle of the road ”.
Another business issue, the levels of communication that must be extreme. Working from home forces the communication system to improve a lot with all its executives. That must be strengthened.