Dear colleagues, clients, partners – dear friends,
I’m writing these lines to you not only as the CEO of hotelkit but more importantly as a hotelier and owner of a 4-star-boutique hotel with 25 employees in one of the most beautiful towns in our little country – Salzburg. Our country and its people, particularly anyone in the tourism sector, have been severely affected by the measures taken by the Austrian authorities in order to fight the spread of COVID-19. I am forced to shut down my hotel tomorrow, Monday the 16th of March, until at least April 13th. I fully support the measures taken by our government (they are doing an impressive job in a time of crisis) as it is extremely important to prevent the spread of the virus right now, so that we can all go back to our normal lives as soon as possible.
It is extremely important to stop the spread of the virus right now!
hotelkit is also located in Salzburg. In order to take all the necessary precautions, I’ve already asked my teams to work from home last week. At hotelkit, we offer a highly digital work environment, fully benefiting from everything technology has to offer. Since the founding of the company our most important internal communication tool has been our own product. We use hotelkit to organize ourselves, to share news and to discuss ideas. Today, hotelkit is the platform allowing us to be fully operational both online and offline. This means that we are here for you in every way we can be. Our customer success management team will, of course, still offer you the high standard support you are used to.
As a hotelier, I completely understand what you are all going through. The last week has certainly been one of the toughest for me and my wife. We’ve had to inform our hotel employees about the upcoming lockdown and that we are temporarily closing our hotel. It’s incredible how they’ve reacted. We are so proud to have such supportive and understanding team members in our hotel. We’ve had multiple meetings with our bank (please forgive me for the shoutout to Volksbank Salzburg here, but the support they offer their clients in these times is simply incredible) to weigh up all the options and to work out a financial plan for the upcoming weeks and months. I also want to thank the ÖHT as well for immediately providing and securing bridge loans for hotels.
Furthermore, it looks like the Austrian Government has understood what this situation means for our economy as a whole and for the hotel industry in particular. They have granted extensive support (some links for my Austrian colleagues at the end of the text) by offering funds to us hoteliers. This, in turn, will ensure that hopefully we will not be forced to (even temporarily) lay off our employees. We are all desperately waiting to hear the details that will be published on Monday. I can only assume the tireless involvement of the ÖHV and WKO in order to push this – many thanks for that!
At hotelkit, we’ve spent the entire past week (and the weekend) working hard on ideas and content (templates for checklists, tasks, inspections and articles) we can provide you to help master this exceptional situation. Many of these ideas I am currently implementing in my own hotel. I can see it first-hand:
I can see it first-hand: Communication is key, now more than ever.
Communication is key, now more than ever, because our employees are worried. Keep all possible communication channels open for them! hotelkit will offer webinars giving advice on how you can best use our tool to fight this crisis.
Additionally, we are currently evaluating the technical possibilities of using our multi-property version to connect those among our 60,000 users that are interested and giving them direct access to the templates and content we are currently working on. We will provide you with more information about all this asap.
These are incredibly tough times for all of us, but we need to stay positive. We are working in one of the most exciting industries and connect with unbelievable people every day. Let’s take the necessary precautions and measures to fight this crisis and prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Let’s stick together – just not physically 😉 – and stay strong. We all will make it through this time of uncertainty. There is no doubt in my mind that we will all emerge from this even stronger, as an industry and as a global community. This crisis can be mastered. And it will bring us even closer together in the end.
Most importantly – wash your hands, think of our most vulnerable fellow humans and stay safe! This crisis will pass and we will come out stronger than ever!
Founder & CEO of hotelkit
Owner Hotel Der Salzburger Hof