The hotel industry is now in recovery mode as hotels are slowly beginning to re-open for what is usually the busy summer season. Hotel management will most likely plan a more friction-less and touch-free world resulting in the entire guest experience looking and feeling very different.
Hotels may forever change the way they operate and shape the new future of the hotel industry. Here are some of the new things we may expect to see:
The largest hotel chains such as Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt, have now shared details about their new, revamped housekeeping procedures. As per their press release, Hilton announced a new partnership with RB, the makers of Lysol and Dettol to create a new cleaning procedure. We expect guests to be more conscious about cleaning protocols and they will be looking for hotels that are transparent about their practices. Marriott is even looking at implementing electrostatic sprayers and using ultra-violet technology to sanitize keys or any shared devices.
Businesses are looking at new ways to become contact-less, which can be challenging for hotels since we thrive on personalized service. Technological changes can be expensive but may now be deemed necessary as we see hotels switching to virtual check-ins and digital keys for guest room entry. Guests could be able to check in on their phones and use the same device to unlock their doors. Rooms will be equipped with one device, such as a tablet, that will control multiple functions like “Do Not Disturb” notifications, controlling lights and curtains, temperature, the television and much more.
For hotels that still opt to continue with the traditional check-in method most guests are accustomed to, RoomKeyPMS also interfaces with Orion Systems which offer eSignature capabilities so hotel management can still practice physical distancing between guests and hotel staff while still providing personalized service to guests.
RoomKeyPMS has also launched it’s Mobile Platform which includes a contact-less check-in feature. Highlights of this platform include the ability to speed up the arrival process ahead of time by confirming personal information and provide the hotel with critical information through it’s customized mobile platform that syncs seamlessly to the PMS.
Many organizations have predicted that physical distancing will become the new norm, forcing hotels to redesign their guest spaces, both indoors and outdoors. You will see less furniture in lobbies (or none at all), deterring guests from gathering in crowds. Newly built hotels may be advised to have additional elevators as well as make the room layout more spacious so it may accommodate more activities such as exercising and dining. It will become common to see protective covering in highly exposed areas as well as floor markers to guide distance and flow.
The food service industry is one that will see the biggest change with the same goal in mind: exemplary service while maintaining hygiene standards and social distancing rules. Many restaurants will reduce the number of guests they can seat, and staff will be required to wear masks at all times. Technology will play a big role here as well, as guests may be able to order and pay on their own devices. Some establishments will have to reconsider the definition of fine dining and reduce the amount of cutlery and glassware in their table set up, whereas others may decide to use disposable tableware only. Room service will regain popularity, given that the hotel as upheld its standards in the above-mentioned points, i.e., cleanliness, ordering, and space.
We are yet to fully comprehend how things will unfold when the economy starts to re-open, as people re-evaluate their vacation plans, potential destinations, and need for safety. What we know for sure is that the Tourism and Hospitality industry has been deeply affected and must evolve in order to remain relevant. Guests will remember the hotels that are stepping up their game by supporting their local communities and colleagues, and those hotels that are continuing to engage their clients by sharing their new protocols. Now more than ever it is important for hotels to share ideas and grow so that we can all be ready once the crisis is over.
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Image Credit: Jeshoots & Proxyclick on Unsplash
Blog Credit: William Tam and Rubika Narula - RoomKeyPMS