2020 has been a challenging year for the majority of businesses, organisations and people throughout the entire world due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. One sector arguably hit the hardest than any other is the travel and leisure industry. Being a short-term lettings management company, whose main clientele are holidaymakers and contractors, has not been the easiest ride with lockdowns preventing all but essential travel both nationally and internationally. It is with what we hope to be the last national lockdown out of the way, and with a vaccine now approved and being rolled out, that we take time to reflect on 2020 and how we managed to stay in business throughout the pandemic.
Back on March 20th 2020 Boris Johnson announced all pubs, restaurants and bars have to shut along with all non-essential being no longer allowed. On this day we saw many cancellations from guests and lost about £25,000 worth of bookings. We realised this would not be a short-term situation and that we needed to act fast to survive.
Many accommodation providers went down the route of offering up accommodation to key workers or hospital staff free of charge or for very reduced rates. Some of our landlords liked the idea of this but had bills and mortgages to pay. We, therefore, contacted all current and former guests from the construction industries as we recognised this was an industry that had not been forced to close. Many of these guests had stayed via Airbnb or Booking.com and told us that they required accommodation and would be happy to work with us directly; especially as Airbnb had banned all reservations to prevent people from traveling illegally.
I’m Your Host, therefore, adapted, and accommodated key workers in the construction sector, following government guidlines by asking for proof and ensuring properties were cleaned and disinfected thoroughly.
We are proud of the fact that we didn’t lose a single client to COVID-19. We look forward to 2021 with the hopes of seeing COVID restrictions ease – when it’s safe to do so – and business picking back up again.