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The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the hospitality industry, including hotels, airlines, travel, and food and beverage. As the world gradually recovers from the pandemic, the sector is working to rebuild its operations. However, factors like limitations on direct human contact, currency fluctuations, and rising fuel and electricity prices are expected to continue affecting the industry, even with increasing tourist numbers following the easing of restrictions.
To introduce innovative practices and the use of digital technologies in the hospitality sector, the Thailand Productivity Institute and APO Secretariat organized an online conference on Productivity Enhancement in the Hospitality Industry on 7 June to examine approaches and initiatives to tackle the challenges faced post-COVID-19. It focused on initiatives to improve the customer experience while implementing pandemic-related measures and public-sector approaches to rebuilding the tourism industry and revitalizing local economies. It also evaluated public-sector involvement in creating recovery and growth strategies.
Thirty participants from 14 member economies, including government officials responsible for service-sector productivity policy, consultants and trainers from NPOs, and representatives of industrial associations and enterprises, attended the conference. Four resource persons from Fiji, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand shared insights on IT-based productivity enhancement options for the hospitality industry, national strategies for sustainability in the sector, and methods to meet the SDGs. They also presented recent trends and policies for productivity enhancement and case studies of reshaping long-term hospitality business models from their countries, including the technological investments and IT-based services of the Singapore-based startup Vouch, which offers “one ecosystem to optimize operations” for happier hotel staff and guests.