The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented loss in revenue and in employment. It has changed the way that hotels conduct business and has changed the customer hotel experience drastically. It is essential that those within the hospitality industry adapt in response to the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The unique issues posed by the Coronavirus demands unique solutions and while the effects of the virus have been highly negative, it has led to a creative boom that has changed the employee and guest experience forever. If hotels are going to thrive in the midst of a global crisis that has crippled the industry, then it’s crucial to adapt and create solutions in order to survive in this new normal.
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Enhanced Hotel Cleaning Standards
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the hotel industry to enact measures to ensure the safety of their employees and guests and has resulted in hotels enhancing their safety and hygiene standards to prevent the spread of the virus. Hotels now offer guests a provision of face masks and hand sanitizers and have placed social distancing policies in place to limit interaction. Hotels have employed stringent safety measures that include the use of UV technology, electrostatic sprays, as well as plexiglass barriers that prevent direct interaction with employees. Hotels have been forced to prioritize safety not only as a means of protection against the virus but also as a means of luring guests back. Some hotels have implemented UV technology scanners that can be used to sterilize key cards, keyboards, as well as large areas within the hotel such as conference rooms and pool areas. The use of UV light is highly effective against microbes that are not visible to the naked eye.
Contactless Hotel Technology
Hotels are also taking advantage of contactless hotel technology , that allow guests to digitally access menus, place orders and pay their bills by using their mobile phones. These contactless solutions are also available in guest rooms, where voice activated digital assistants can be used to control light, room temperature and to control the entertainment system. These options limit the number of surface areas that guests will come in contact with, thus making guestrooms safer. Guests can also use these devices to request services or to request assistance.
Offering guests grab and go meal options is another way that hotels adapted to the changes brought on by COVID-19. Hotels were forced to close their restaurants for safety reasons but still offered guests the option of ordering and picking up their meals.
Hotel Eco-Friendly Initiatives
Any number of factors can have an influence on the choice of hotels, and some customers require their hotels to be environmentally friendly. Hotels are beginning to market themselves as eco-friendly hotels in order to attract customers. Hotels may choose to focus on energy conservation by improving boilers and lighting systems to reduce energy. Hotels can also opt to create a water conservation initiatives by installing low-flow faucets and showerheads. Creating a hotel recycling program that reduces paper and disposables is another way that hotels can lure in eco-friendly guests.
COVID-19 Hotel Robots
Hotels have taken their efficiency and safety standards to the next level by utilizing COVID-19 hotel robots. These robots have the ability to sanitize rooms and clean areas that could pose an elevated risk to employees. They can also be used in food service and have the capability to deliver any number of items that guests may require. They have the ability to take elevators and make over a hundred deliveries daily and are highly effective at limiting guests and employee interaction.
Since the onset of COVID-19, potential travelers have a host of questions and concerns about certain restrictions due to the virus. Chatbots are a great tool that can be utilized by guests to get answers to questions when staff are unavailable. Guests can either get their questions answered by the chatbots or can have their inquiries directed to a representative. Guests could have a number of questions answered regarding hotel stays, restaurants and about COVID-19 requirements and restrictions. This is a very valuable tool that would allow hotels to provide answers to a large number of questions and provide information within seconds.
Hotel Virtual Solutions
Virtual reality tours give potential guests the opportunity to experience the services that hotels have to offer from their homes. It can help guests decide which hotels best fits their needs by virtually touring guestrooms, restaurants and entertainment offered by the hotels. This gives hotels an added advantage by allowing guests to get an interactive look at what their hotel experience would be like. Additionally, there has been a lot of restrictions and most events have been rescheduled or canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many hotels are now offering guests the option to participate in events virtually. Hotels can offer virtual cooking classes or virtual fitness classes to keep guests engaged while in their rooms.
Hotel Health and Wellness Initiatives
There has been a shift towards health and wellness as a result to Covid-19. Travelers are more concerned with getting enough rest and having healthy meal options. Hotels can offer a range of foods that can appeal to the health-conscious guests. Foods choices such as vegan, vegetarian cuisines and gluten free and dairy free options offer guests healthy meal alternatives. More hotels are choosing to offer local and fresh seasonal produce, as well as hormone free meats and diaries to attract health conscious consumers.
Work from Hotel Initiatives
As occupancy levels fell to an all-time low, hotels have had to come up with creative solutions to attract customers. Some hotels are allowing guests to make daytime bookings at discounted rates with gym and pool amenities included. Hotels created the work from hotel initiative that provided guests with unlimited access to wireless internet and provided them with all the comforts of a luxury hotel stay while they worked.
From Dorms to Hotel Initiatives
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a major housing issue for colleges, for safety reasons students could not stay in close quarters. Many colleges were forced to find temporary alternative housing for their students. Most hotels were empty due to the crisis and had the ability to allow colleges to book rooms on behalf of their students. This allowed the hotels to make earnings in the midst of a crisis that has crippled the industry.