Covid-19 has had a deep impact on the hotel industry and 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 Covid-19 virus 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.
Elevated 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 Guests Experience
Hotels are also taking advantage of contactless options, that allow guests to digitally access menus, place orders and pay their bills by using their mobile phones. These contactless options 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 the Covid-19 virus. Hotels were forced to close their restaurants for safety reasons but still offered guests the option of ordering and picking up their meals.
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 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 initiative by installing low-flow faucets and showerheads. Creating a recycling program that reduces paper and disposables is another way that hotels can lure in eco-friendly guests.
Automated Intelligence Robots
Hotels have taken their efficiency and safety standards to the next level by utilizing 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.
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 virus. May hotels are now offering guests options to participate in events virtually. Hotels can offer virtual cooking classes or virtual fitness classes to keep guests engaged while in their rooms.
Health and Wellness
There has been a shift towards health and wellness as a result of the Covid-19 virus. 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 guest’s 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 fall to an all-time low, hotels have had to come up with creative means to attract customers. Some hotels are allowing guests to make daytime bookings at discounted rates with all the gym and pool amenities included. With unlimited access to wireless internet, guests have all they need to enjoy their stay at a luxury hotel while they work.
From Dorms to Hotels
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.