Dr Dimitrios Diamantis, our Dean of Graduate Studies, has worked extensively within the hospitality sector, alongside more than 20 years of lecturing experience. He recently hosted a special webinar panel discussion about rebuilding the industry post-crisis. And he also spoke on this topic to Hospitality Talk, the online magazine from India. Here we present highlights from that interview, plus you’ll find a link to a recording of the webinar in case you missed it…
With the world gripped in COVID-19 crisis, and few sectors impacted more adversely than hospitality, it’s important to keep looking ahead to how the industry will bounce back.
In an interview with Hospitality Talk, our Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr Dimitrios Diamantis, referenced the views of several major chain hotel CEOs that demand is expected to go back up by the third or fourth quarter of this year, and thus allow businesses in the industry to recover by next year.
He adds, “Once the world returns to normality for travel, it is most likely that individuals will start traveling again, whether for business or leisure. Based on data from Chinese online travel platforms Ctrip and Fliggy in China, we see that citizens are really looking forward to traveling once the outbreak ends.”
Here are some other highlights of that Q&A:
Q: How do we, as an industry, recover?
Dimitrios Diamantis (DD): “When we take the time to assess previous recoveries following tragic global events, it is fair to assume that we can get past this challenging time as well. I expect the recovery to be slow over the next three to six months. Indeed, the hospitality industry splits its customers into two categories: business and leisure. Customers who had to postpone their travels are likely to travel again once they feel safe and the airlines are back to operating normally. By the beginning of next year, I forecast a growth, so it is crucial for businesses to start reconsidering their plan for the forthcoming wave of customers. A reconsideration of their product and service offerings, as well as a re-evaluation of their priorities, is also suggested at this time.”
Q: How are you combating this as a major hospitality education brand?
DD: “This situation is challenging for all educational institutions worldwide, especially international schools like ours which accommodate students on campus. In this complex situation, we are committed to ensuring the continuity of studies for our students by delivering our curriculum via remote learning.
We have created more than 500 videos of content accessible through an online platform that is completed with an online Q&A session for students in all programs. This method allows us to have a constant delivery of learning materials to our students while also mentoring them during this challenging period. In terms of theoretical modules, it is easy to implement an alternative solution to face-to-face classes. However, for practical arts which is more complex, postponements and compensatory sessions are currently being considered.
During this situation, we are making sure to go hand in hand with each of the students to find the best individual solutions to cope with the situation. Hospitality is all about passion, and personalization has been at the core of our school since its creation, thus we will continue to remain true to our values by reshaping our format.”
Digital technology proves its worth
Thankfully, in our age of digital technology, remote learning is now a far more practical option than would have been the case for any previous generations of students.
Les Roches, in partnership with sister school Glion, has just launched an exceptional online series called Leading Hospitality Through Turbulent Times. Across nine weeks to the end of June, this will give students the opportunity to attend interactive sessions hosted by our faculty and featuring global leaders from hospitality, finance, luxury and other key sectors.
And we have also put together an exciting series of webinars to talk about academic programs, careers and the wider industry issues around COVID-19.
Watch the full recording of Dimitrios Diamantis’ panel discussion “Rebuilding Hospitality after COVID-19” .