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The Impact Of The Coronavirus On The Hospitality Field

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The Impact Of The Coronavirus On The Hospitality Field

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Research Proposal

Title, Context of the Research and Rationale

The title of the research is: The impact of the coronavirus on the hospitality field in United Kingdom (UK): A case study of Hilton London Metropole.

Context of the Research

One of the industries that has highly been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic is the hospitality industry across the world. Many governments including in the UK resorted to initiating measures that targeted at controlling the spread of the virus. Among these measures included travel restrictions, both domestic and international and lockdowns where people were encouraged to work from home. Considering these measures were widely implemented globally, tourism and related activities came to a halt. Hotels such as Hilton London Metropole are largely reliant on the huge visitor traffic in London for their business. The closure of air travel meant adverse effects. Subsequently, this research seeks to investigate the impact of coronavirus on the hospitality industry in the UK with focus being the Hilton London Metropole.

Research Rationale

According to Jones & Comfort (2020) measures that the UK and other governments put in place to curb the spread of the virus resulted in closure of many hospitality businesses as domestic and international travel was limited. Conducting this research from a perspective of Hilton London Metropole will help in showing the real impact to different stakeholders such as employees and shareholders. There is no doubt that the hospitality industry has experienced negative effects. However, conducting this study will be critical in revealing the magnitude to which hospitality businesses were affected financially and non-financially. As noted by Gursoy et al., (2020), despite the fact that some of the restrictions have been eased and businesses have open partially, there is uncertainty in regards to when the business will return to norm. Conducting this study will help in answering some of these questions. Importantly, the study will seek to unveil lessons that can be useful when dealing with similar future pandemics. Getting proposals and suggestions from individuals working in an industry that has been highly affected could provide policy makers in government to draft effective measures to caution against the widespread adverse effects.

Research Question

What is the impact of the coronavirus on Hilton London Metropole in United Kingdom?

Research Aim and Research Objectives

The aim of the research is to find out impact of the coronavirus on Hilton London Metropole in United Kingdom.

The research objectives include:

  • To investigate the financial impact of coronavirus on Hilton London Metropole in United Kingdom.
  • To examine the impact of coronavirus on the employees of Hilton London Metropole in United Kingdom.
  • To determine the future of the hospitality industry in the United Kingdom post-coronavirus.

Preliminary Literature Review

Dube, Nhamo & Chikodzi, (2020) explains that as the impact of COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, the collective objective of most governments and businesses is to ensure the safety of their people. Moreover, due to the strategies initiated to minimise the spread of the disease, such as social distancing, community lockdowns, travel restrictions, and stay at home orders, the hospitality field faces an unprecedented challenge. Jones & Comfort (2020) highlighted that the measures put in place to curb the pandemic have resulted in the temporary closure of hospitality businesses, among other businesses. Hotel revenues and occupancies reduced drastically due to travel and mobility restrictions. Nonetheless, this has continued for the largest part of 2020 even though; currently, governments have begun to ease the restrictions depending on how the disease curve is changing. For instance, some governments have allowed dine-in restaurants to reopen with a smaller capacity. Individuals attending these places have been advised to adhere to the COVID 19 protocols such as wearing masks, avoiding contact, and social distancing. Domestic and international restrictions are gradually easing. 

According to Gursoy et al., (2020), preliminary findings from research conducted by a team of researchers from the Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management indicated that even though the restrictions are easing, reopening restaurants will not guarantee that customers will return immediately. The economies of most countries are at a record low and due to partially closed businesses. The disease is contagious, and therefore, people are not willing to have meals from hotels, at least for the next few months (Gursoy et al., 2020). Customers are not willing to travel and stay in a hotel room. Therefore, the hospitality industry has seen a tremendous decrease in business activities, and the survival of most hotels in this sector depends on the increasing demand for their services. Huang, Makridis, Baker, Medeiros & Guo (2020) noted that some hotels have started home deliveries for their products, which has slightly improved the revenue in the hospitality field.

COVID 19 has presented research opportunities for hospitality researchers. The devastating magnitude of the crisis has crippled operations and minimised competition for customers. Therefore, researchers are digging deep in the industry, trying to find insights and solutions for transforming hospitality operations to fit customers’ needs while following the COVID 19 safety protocols (Alonso, Kok, Bressan, O’Shea, Sakellarios, Koresis & Santoni, 2020). The pandemic has also given businesses in the hospitality industry a chance to upgrade their facilities. Activities that were pushed forward, such as security plans, asset counts, and defining the standard procedures for business operations, can now be done during the pandemic. As noted by Huang et al., (2020), some hotels are protecting their frontline service workers by introducing AI robotics to prevent contact. These robots are essential for hotel management and marketing. 

Baum Mooney Robinson & Solnet (2020) explained that most people have reconsidered their lifestyle due to the disease. People are observing cleanliness as well as their personal aspects such as physical and mental wellbeing. Therefore, this has allowed businesses with fitness and diet programs in the hospitality industry to continue doing business under strict and safe regulations. 

Methodology and Research Methods

The proposed study will adopt primary methods. This means that the research will collect raw data to examine the impact of coronavirus on the UK’s hospitality industry. In collecting the primary data, the researcher will use two research instruments. The questionnaire will be used in collecting quantitative data, while interviews will be employed to collect qualitative data. Consequently, a mixed methodology shall be adopted of quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative data will be analysed using descriptive statistics, while qualitative data will be analysed through thematic analysis (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2009).

Considering the research will be a case of Hilton London Metropole, the target population will include managers and employees of the organisation. The researcher will use a simple random technique to select the participants of the study. In total, the researcher will target a sample size of 5 managers or supervisors and 30 employees.

Considering the Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines, the researcher will conduct interviews through Skype or the telephone. The questionnaires will be sent via email to the respondents. Other ethical considerations will include obtaining the necessary consent from the respondents. The respondents will also be informed of their right to withdraw from the research. The participants will remain anonymous. The researcher will not obtain their names or designations.

The possible limitations of the research include time and Covid-restrictions, which encourage minimal interactions. The research’s reliability and validity will be tested through a pilot study conducted by the researcher. The results of the pilot will not be included in the actual results.   

References

Alonso, A. D., Kok, S. K., Bressan, A., O’Shea, M., Sakellarios, N., Koresis, A., … & Santoni, L. J. (2020). COVID-19, aftermath, impacts, and hospitality firms: An international perspective. International journal of hospitality management91, 102654.

Baum, T., Mooney, S., Robinson, R., & Solnet, D. (2020). COVID-19’s impact on the hospitality workforce-new crisis or amplification of the norm?. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management32(9), 2813-2829.

Dube, K., Nhamo, G., & Chikodzi, D. (2020). COVID-19 cripples global restaurant and hospitality industry. Current Issues in Tourism, 1-4.

Gössling, S., Scott, D., & Hall, C. M. (2020). Pandemics, tourism and global change: a rapid assessment of COVID-19. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1-20.

Gursoy, D., Chi, C. G., & Chi, O. H. (2020). COVID-19 Study 2 Report: Restaurant and Hotel Industry: Restaurant and hotel customers’ sentiment analysis. Would they come back? If they would, WHEN.

Huang, A., Makridis, C., Baker, M., Medeiros, M., & Guo, Z. (2020). Understanding the impact of COVID-19 intervention policies on the hospitality labor market. International Journal of Hospitality Management91, 102660-102660.

Jones, P., & Comfort, D. (2020). The COVID-19 Crisis and Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management32(10), 3037-3050.

Paules, C. I., Marston, H. D., & Fauci, A. S. (2020). Coronavirus infections—more than just the common cold. Jama323(8), 707-708.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2009). Research methods for business students. United Kingdom: Pearson education.

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