Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021
123456789101112131415161718
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
News Every Day |

How COVID Could Change the Way Australians Think About Hotels

Daniel Laufer

Coronavirus, Oceania

Many five-star big-name hotels have been turned into quarantine facilities, which may disabuse future hotel guests of their notions of luxury.

In Australia, New Zealand and around the world, COVID has turned luxury and semi-luxury hotels into quarantine facilities.

Among the four and five-star hotels reported as having been used for temporary detention are Sydney’s Intercontinental, Marriott, Hyatt Regency, Sheraton Grand, Sofitel Wentworth and Novotel Darling Harbour; Auckland’s Rydges, Crowne Plaza, Grand Millennium, Four Points by Sheraton and Ramada; and Melbourne’s Stamford Plaza, Mercure, Park Royal and Rydges on Swanston.

Each has had a valuable brand name.

Governments prefer four and five-star hotels to small ones because they are large (200 rooms or more) and easier to run as quarantine facilities.

It’s hard to blame the big international hotels for taking part. Without income from international tourists, they’ve needed the money.

But by taking the money and becoming known as places where people are locked up, at times cross-infected, and fed food ranging from “nice” to “atrocious”, they run the risk of destroying brands that took decades to build.

‘Associative interference’

It would happen through a process known as associative interference, where it becomes difficult to focus on old and relevant information about something because new and less-relevant information gets attached to it and gets in the way.

A recent memory of something much less glamorous can contaminate a lifetime of memories associating a brand or an experience with luxury.

This can happen both at the general level (“hotels are no longer a place I am particularly keen to spend time in, even five-star ones”) and at a specific level (“this particular brand that I always associated with quality I now associate with something less savoury”).

In New Zealand the names of hotels designated as COVID-19 facilities are announced in press conferences, published on an official website and reported in the media.

In Australia, it’s more hit and miss. Word spreads about the hotels being used, especially when things go wrong, even though some seem reluctant to confirm their status.

How damaging could it be?

Brands such as Intercontinental, Sheraton, Hyatt, Rydges and Ramada might be tempted to take comfort from the experience of Corona, the brand of beer.

It ended the year with its sales intact, despite initial concerns. But its only association with coronavirus was a name.

Hotels have been linked to COVID and detention in real life.

Some have been likened to prisons.

 

One way for COVID hotels to lessen the COVID taint would be to flood people’s memories with something else – their original positioning as places of luxury.

A massive advertising and public relations campaign reinforcing the earlier themes of opulence and quality might, in time, overwhelm the association with quarantine and restore the image the brands once had.

If all else fails, change the name

If the new taint still sticks, there’s an alternative. It’s to abandon the name.

It’s a manoeuvre with an impressive history.

After years of trying to live down Britain’s worst nuclear disaster, the Windscale power plant and reprocessing facility changed its name to Sellafield in 1981.

The tobacco giant Philip Morris became Altria Group in 2003, and this year Adani Mining became Bravus Mining in a victory of sorts for opponents of its Queensland coal mine. Australia’s much-criticised Newstart unemployment benefit became JobSeeker.

A new name with no lineage might be better than a familiar one that calls forth memories of 2020.

The Conversation

Daniel Laufer, Associate Professor, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Image: Reuters





Read also

Jets must do whatever it takes to get Deshaun Watson from Texans

Columbia-Class Submarine: The Most Stealth Submarine Ever Built?

322 new cases of COVID-19 infection detected in Azerbaijan over the past day




News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro



Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here