How the hotel industry could get its act together in the wake of Harvey
- by admin
More than two dozen hotel chains are trying to avoid another round of disaster as they scramble to keep their properties afloat after Hurricane Harvey slammed into Houston on Tuesday.
Key points:Hotel owners are bracing for a worst-case scenario of a catastrophic event in the U.S. hotel industryThe hotel industry’s stock has plummeted as Hurricane Harvey battered TexasThe Federal Emergency Management Agency has said it will open emergency operations to help with the disasterThe industry is facing pressure from a slew of national and international organizations that are demanding that hotels get a more robust, integrated and cost-effective disaster recovery plan.
“We have been inundated by the outpouring of grief and distress from the community,” said David A. Lebron, chief executive officer of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, in a statement.
“Hilton Hotels has been working closely with FEMA to develop the most comprehensive disaster recovery framework we can.
We are in touch with the Federal Emergency Manager to develop a comprehensive plan that will be the foundation of our efforts.”
The industry has been bracing itself for a catastrophic incident in the hotel business, given the potential for another storm to hit the area in the next week.
The Houston hotel industry is already dealing with a raft of problems from flooding, lost power and a long list of health issues.
The storm forced hotel operators to shut down a number of their properties and put more than 5,000 hotel rooms at risk.
In the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, the National Hurricane Center warned that the storm could be bringing about a catastrophic disaster in the Houston area.
On Monday, the Federal Election Commission said it was opening an investigation into how a third-party firm, Gravis Marketing, was used to help boost the stock of hotel operators.
The commission said it has also been asked to look into how the firm, based in Austin, Texas, was paid.
On Wednesday, the American Hotel and Lodging Association said it had already issued more than 2,500 warnings to hotels about their capacity to handle Hurricane Harvey.
Hilton said it is also working with the federal government to make sure hotels have a robust disaster recovery program in place.
“As we work to build a comprehensive disaster response plan, we will continue to be engaged with our industry partners and our partners around the world to improve the preparedness of hotel guests,” Hilton said in a written statement.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said on Wednesday it was asking for more information from hotel operators about the scope of the disaster preparedness in Texas.
The American Hotel Association said on Tuesday that it had issued more over 6,500 warning letters to hotels.
Hospitality industry groups say they are concerned about the storm’s impact on their businesses and are pushing to find ways to improve their systems to withstand the next storm.
Some have already been asking for the ability to open the doors to guests’ rooms to be able to reopen to the public.
The hotel industry said it wants to have a better system in place so guests can be given time to get back to their hotels.
More than two dozen hotel chains are trying to avoid another round of disaster as they scramble to keep their…