The Brussels Hotels Association has launched a campaign to try to attract customers in the period around Valentine’s Day. The hotel sector worldwide has seen record lows since early 2020.
The “cuddle contact” campaign will run from the 12th until the 21st February, and its purpose is “to offer everyone a moment of escape with their +1, their close contact, their partner or their best friend by allowing them to stay in the most beautiful hotel rooms at a friendly price, and to enjoy a meal delivered to their room, or room service.”
The name, “cuddle contact”, was thought of based on the health and safety measure of the same name implemented by Belgian authorities. The measure allows people to pick one person outside their household to be physically close to. With those people, social distancing or face mask rules can be somewhat relaxed.
The hotel industry in Brussels reported a sharp decrease in income, down 90% in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019. Statistics revealed that roughly nine out of ten Brussels hotel rooms were empty at the end of the summer, and the capital of Europe is struggling with a near-absence of tourists.
Troubled by the uncertain outlook, Hotels in Brussels have formally asked for help. “You are letting us have a slow death,” the Brussels Horeca Federation wrote in a statement to the Brussels government. “Our Brussels hotels have lost more than 75% of their turnover, 80% of them are closed.”
With the new campaign, hotels in Brussels are trying to bring “a positive note” to individuals who can no longer leave. It’s also meant to shed light on the situation that the sector has been facing since the spring of 2020.
“We have thought about a solution to sell hotel rooms by take-away but it is very complicated logistically,” said Rodolphe Van Weyenbergh, Secretary-General of the Brussels Hotels Association (BHA). “We are advocating for a “take me away’ approach.”