How the hotel industry may change for the post-coronavirus world
As many countries are preparing to end shutdowns and start a post-coronavirus world, hotels are eager to return to normalcy. However, since the pandemic is not over yet, some industries might remain closed. Or at least partially closed which could lead us to a world of half-closures.
Still, returning to normalcy might not seem normal. The pandemic may spur changes in the hotel industry. This can alter hotel industry norms, behaviors, and standards to guarantee that hotel guests are confident in the cleanliness and safety of hotels.
Yes, hotel management will be happy to see guests again. But the front-desk clerk might not be able to express that or smile at them (as masks will be covering faces). Guests might not get a room key either.
A major change in the post-coronavirus world will be cleanliness. Hotels used to keep cleaning procedures behind the scenes. Few people had concerns to sleep or stay where hundreds of people had slept or stayed.
But now, guests will expect cleanliness to be more visible. Guests will become more hyper-conscious of all the surfaces that could host the virus.
Thus, to control gusts' fears and worries, hotels started to release guidelines and protocols to bolster their cleanliness and safety standards. A lot of the major hotels in the world, including Hilton and Hyatt, have developed plans regarding cleaning and sanitization procedures to reassure their guests that their campuses are clean, safe, and secure.
Hilton chain, for example, is increasing its cleanliness measures, making partnerships with RB, maker of Lysol and Dettol. These new measures will be applied over its 6,100 worldwide properties. This will affect guest rooms, venues, restaurants, and all public spaces.
Also, high-touch areas, such as door handles, light switches, TV remotes, and thermostats, will require extra cleaning. So, every hour or two during peak check-in and check-out periods, a team member in the lobby will be visibly cleaning the most-touched surfaces. In the meantime, they will place a room seal on all doors to show guests that their rooms have not been accessed since they were cleaned.
Hotels staffers will probably be all equipped with face masks and gloves. Hotels will probably show touch-free hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes all over their campuses. There might be less furniture in order to make space, too. Moreover, hotels will accommodate fewer people in larger spaces. So, fewer guests will ride an elevator. Venues that were designed for more than 100 guests, will be no longer able to host more than 40.
Many procedures will start to take place online including payments and bookings. Online apps and services that help guests book their rooms or venues and pay without exchanging credit cards will become especially important now.
We cannot predict how the world of post-coronavirus will be different from what it has used to be, but the change is inevitably occurring. And all industries, including the hotel industry, are preparing for this change.