Why Independents have the Edge During the Corona Crisis

The lockdown has been a kick in the wotsits for the travel industry. Here are 5 reasons why independent companies can have the edge at the point of restart.


Doing it for the Right Reasons

They are the unsung heroes in hospitality, doing it for the people, passion and pride not just profit. And in times of crisis these prized characteristics count as double.


Personalised Service

This is the livelihood for many smaller operations run by owner/managers who know their trade inside out. Their experience and longevity gives them the tools to craft a personalised service despite limited funds. The corporates meanwhile who have funded expansion through being heavily geared in a low interest rate, high demand environment are trying to achieve the best return on investment and working backwards from there. They’ll need to find a better way with the expected lower levels of custom when they reopen.



Being captain of their own ship, the independents can make decisions quickly and if the results are unsatisfactory, they can amend ‘in game’. The corporate structure means by the time a decision has been approved, conditions may have changed, rendering any action obsolete or at best a compromise.


Going Live

When re-opening, mistakes will inevitably be made in terms of service delivery, organisation and customer flow. Decision makers will have to be present when this happens so appropriate action is taken immediately to effect a change. This is less likely to happen in a chain.


Handling pressure 

There’s going to be a new normal. Each ounce of experience will be needed to get it right. And then you must review and react again the next shift, day, week, month and so on. This requires stamina and resilience as none of us know yet what that new normal will look like. One thing’s for sure there is no time for ineffective soundbites by managers or untrained staff. Can a large corporation handle all these unknowns with this intensity?

One area where the corporates appear to have the edge is safety, which will be a priority for any customer.

However, well written protocols, carefully crafted at head office, are only as good as their application on the ground. This is where the independents beat the corporates to the line: by adapting safety measures to the newest guidelines quicker and having more passionate, better trained staff to implement them, the underdog may finally have its day