Stephanie Hall, Group Director of Sales & Marketing at the Exclusive Collection gives us her thoughts on a new narrative for hotels and venues.
“Our business is about bringing groups of people together – to interact, learn and celebrate. Ultimately to be social.
Yet, rightly so, these interactions, learnings and celebrations must be done from a distance or the foreseeable under ‘social distancing’. However, as we move towards a new phase in lockdown shouldn’t we be relinquishing the ‘social’ shackle and work with a term that is more fitting for an industry that encourages social interactions?
It’s widely acknowledged that loneliness can be detrimental to our health and mental health and our current ‘social distancing’ status has compounded this as we keep learning during this Mental Health Awareness Week. A YouGov survey recently found half of people working from home felt isolated and 7 in 10 were missing social interactions at work.
Therefore, isn’t ‘physical distancing’ more fitting and a better descriptor? After all we’ve re-tuned ourselves to sensing a new 2-metre physical boundary and we are now well versed in being able to uphold our personal perimeter when we are on our occasional errands and exercise trips.
The entire hospitality sector is jumping through hoops to ensure a physical 2m distance is in place for when the locks are off. We have spent the last 8-weeks understanding the customer and supplier journey, implementing protocols and heightening sanitisation, while balancing the core premise of our business: places for people to be social.
Our golf and tennis facilities have just opened, fly fishing at Lainston House is back in operation and there are positive rumblings for the hospitality sector that we will all be socialising again – albeit at a physical distance.
Across our businesses we’ve created new signage to help with the flow of guests and to keep people the appropriate physical distance from each other. Nowhere do we suggest guests shouldn’t be social!
A ‘physical distance’ but not ‘social distance’.”