• Pivoting Through The Pandemic: Susie Grynol of The Hotel Association of Canada

    Associations Connect Podcast – Episode 6

    Association leaders everywhere have felt the pain of the pandemic. But imagine if your industry was expected to take three years to fully recover?

    Few can deny that the Canadian hotel industry has been hard hit by COVID-19. Find out how Susie Grynol, president of the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC), and her team have worked diligently since the onset of the pandemic to advocate for the association’s coast to coast membership. At the same time, they are trying to safeguard the HAC’s financial stability.

    Tune in to hear Grynol explain:

    • How the COVID impact was shocking and swift: 80 per cent of hotel industry employees were laid off within 10 days of the pandemic’s onset.
    • How the HAC board quickly re-prioritized its goals to focus on organizational survival and advocacy efforts, while not taking its eye off the important need to level the playing field between hotels and short-term rental providers.
    • How the HAC board is grappling with a significant decline in revenue and a sizeable budget shortfall as it focuses on the “viability of the hotel industry.”

    Finally, Grynol discusses how HAC built relationships with law firms in order to provide COVID-related advice to its members.

    “We developed a lot of this on the fly, under fire,” she said. “We played an important role in providing legal support and issuing guideline documents; then we pivoted into providing weekly webinars and information to our members immediately following an announcement.”

    Grynol offers the following predictions:

    • Regulations are going to be extremely important: Post-COVID, regulated industries – such as the hotel industry – will be monitored to ensure they are complying with preventative measures. Consumers will look for this assurance.
    • Things will look different: When we can have large meetings and events again, what will they look like? Can chairs be right next to each other? What about buffets? Hand shaking? There will be new protocols for how we interact with other human beings, and hotels will lead their implementation.
    • Unprecedented engagement will drive associations in the future: HAC has played a key role as a trusted advisor to government during the COVID crisis. Members see that “it’s allowed us to represent our sector in a really critical way.”

    Click here to hear more about how the Hotel Association of Canada continues to fight for its members with guest Susie Grynol, in Associations Connect Podcast– Episode 6.

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