Press release 12 | 2020
The pandemic has shaken the hotel industry like no other. Hoteliers had to shut down for months, some of them are still closed. They are struggling with a loss of income and short-time work. Starting from 07.10.2020, new accommodation bans were introduced, causing uncertainty, plummeting revenue, and concerns for both hoteliers and travelers. At the beginning of the pandemic, HotelFriend has repeatedly called for specific solutions for the industry e.g. a digital package for workflow enhancement and compliance with hygiene measures in hospitality. It required more tangible actions and federal funding to support people working in the hotel industry.
Now the time has come! To push digitalization during the COVID-19 pandemic, HotelFriend offers an exceptional full service for the “Digital Now” support program launched by the German Federal Ministry of Economics. The uniqueness of the full service lies in compiling the required funding documents, providing software, and ensuring liquidity for a hotelier from one source. HotelFriend AG receives aid from the renowned finance partner AGL Activ Services GmbH, Hannover. Thanks to this partnership, medium-sized enterprises without sufficient liquidity have a chance to promote themselves digitally.
But first things first! Only Germany-based small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) that employ between 3 to 499 people are eligible for the program. The offered funding is a form of a grant that does not have to be repaid. The project must not have started at the time of the funding approval. The project implementation should not exceed 12 months. The lower limit for digitalization projects was set at € 34,000 with 50% = € 17,000 as the own contribution. After the HotelFriend request, there was the following answer from the federal government: digitalization projects with a value of up to € 70,000 can get up to 70% funding depending on the region. This is a great deal of money! The total amount should be paid in advance to get reimbursed after submitting relevant documentation. For medium-sized enterprises struggling to cope with liquidity shortages, this is too much of a burden.
To help hoteliers overcome this hurdle, as well as to make the funding available for companies that want to save their financial resources, the partner AGL Activ Services GmbH was involved in this project. AGL provides hoteliers with the funding for the total amount of the project. The low monthly fee offers a long-term benefit, especially in these uncertain times of pandemic. With solid financing from the partner AGL Activ Services GmbH, it’s possible to obtain financing for your share (subject to a positive credit check by the AGL). Besides, the AGL has agreed to provide the federal grant funding to approved projects before the funds are called if HotelFriend is selected as the digitalization partner. In the sample calculation, we consider an investment volume of € 50,000 and a term of 48 months. We assume that the 50% funding will be paid out after five months (via BMWI which means a federal grant of € 25,000 and a contribution of € 25,000). We have used 16% as the tax rate and 48 months as the financing period. In this calculation example, the result will be 48x a monthly hire-purchase rate of € 630, instead of investing a loan or cash balance of € 50,000 at the project start.
Investment in digitalization is an investment in the future that is constantly changing. While the investment is risky during times of economic uncertainty, the digitalization package will help hoteliers optimize and save costs in the short and medium-term. A good IT infrastructure optimizes work processes, does more, and costs less. Switching to the product provided by HotelFriend can be carried out easily in times of fewer bookings and numerous cancellations.
What does a digitalization project for hotels include?
A modular and future-proof digitalization package for hotels can be formulated in one sentence: a seamless process from a single provider, starting from guest acquisition and reservation management to contactless check-in/out and the digital service orders - everything is automated via smartphone and covered by the software.
That’s what HotelFriend offers! An easy-to-use product that consists of 17 modular single products along your value chain, from room availability and offers through the booking process to the stay and the recommendation. The all-in-one solution enables a hotelier to sell directly and commission-free via a hotel website, let guests check-in, pay with their smartphones as well as manage internal processes in a hotel with a cloud-based software (Property Management System, or PMS).
True to the motto: one provider, one contact person, one product with German support, constantly available, and always professional. To establish yourself in the long run in this unpredictable time, even as a medium-sized company, you have to take measures now. Because security and hygiene measures will accompany the hotel industry for many years to come, they are inseparably connected with digitalization. A digital menu that works in a decentralized manner thanks to cloud-based software, contactless communication, and increased sales through effective marketing will only gain in importance.
Also, HotelFriend takes a stand for entrepreneurs who want to go one step further as digitalization is not limited to hotel software. If you are interested in various digitalization projects that also include third-party providers (e. g. digital locking systems), HotelFriend is always available for specific advice. Besides, there is German support in real-time that provides assistance in developing a digitalization plan for all interested parties and applicants.
This unique constellation between AGL Activ Services GmbH, HotelFriend, and theFederal Ministry of Economics enables companies to position themselves in the long term toward the digital future - they continue to work in a sustainable and economically successful way without having financial difficulties.