hospitality-sector1

Hotels get ready for ‘Touchless Hospitality’ post COVID-19 | Hospitality Industry After COVID-19: How to Survive?

Business / Tips

Hotels get ready for ‘Touchless Hospitality’ post COVID-19 | Hospitality Industry After COVID-19: How to Survive?

In our last post, we gave you an overview of how the hotel/hospitality industry has been dealing with the post COVID crises. If you missed that, Please check that post as well at https://raiserpos.in/2020/08/18/what-is-the-impact-of-covid-19-on-the-hotel-industry-coronavirus-impact-on-the-hospitality-industry/

We will talk about the next steps for the Hospitality Industry after Covid-19 and How are the bigger names in this industry coping up with this situation?

Safety of Guests:

Many international brands, including Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Oberoi, MGM Resorts, Radisson, Best Western, Hyatt, have already begun this ‘confidence-building’ exercise on earnest.

Many brands have created unique ‘protocols’ or ‘programs’ that emphasize their improved hygiene measures to guarantee the health of guests during their stay.

For instance:

  • Hilton has partnered up with the ‘Lysol’ and ‘Dettol’ disinfectant manufacturers and consulted the Mayo Clinic to create new cleanliness methods and training, called the ‘Hilton Clean Stay’ Program.
  • Marriott has formed a ‘Marriott Global Cleanliness Council’ which is a multi-pronged forum for increasing standards of cleanliness to tackle the current health and safety challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The key measures to be implemented by the hotel industry along the path to revenue recovery include:

  • Hospital quality cleaning disinfectants including improved technology such as electrostatic spraying techniques.
  • Brand new cleaning protocols are being initiated. Rigorous deep cleaning of rooms, particularly high touchpoints, such as doorknobs, switches, TV remotes, climate control switches, beds, and bedding, etc. Some brands are considering taping on the doors of the hotel rooms that have been deep cleaned and sanitized to provide the incoming guest with comfort.
  • Few hotels are considering decluttering stationery items such as pens, notepads, and in-room menus from the rooms and replacing them with digital alternatives or offering them on request only to minimize the number of items required for sanitization.
  • Cleaning of public areas such as stairs, elevators, lobby, gyms, and restaurants should be done with higher frequency.
  • Throughout high-traffic areas such as elevators, strategically placed hand sanitizer dispensers and disinfectant cleaning wipes allow guests to clean their hands and buttons before/after use.
  • Contactless check-in and electronic key services with a mobile application for hotel customers. Along with security checks, the hotel entrance will now be subject to an automatic temperature check.
  • As part of the toiletries items which are normally stored in the room, face masks and hand sanitizers would have to be made available to guests on request.
  • The handling of laundry must be strictly segregated to ensure no cross-contamination is present.
  • Regulations for visitors using common area facilities such as swimming pool, gym, restaurants are being relooked at in line with the social distance criteria. Restaurant capacity is also being reviewed to ensure sufficient distances are maintained between the tables.
  • Guests will be asked to sign written health declarations and have temperature checks are done at least every day.

In response to Covid-19, the American Hotel and Lodging Association has released guidance on ‘Enhanced Industry-wide Hotel Cleaning Standards,’ requiring, among other things, the use of additional signage, improved cleaning equipment, and social distance.

Health & Safety of Employees:

As a priority, hotels have to provide their employees with a secure place of work.

Hotels are implementing the following steps to ensure that their employees comply with the health and safety protocols established by the hotels:

  • Self-declaration of employees about their travel background and interaction with family members / other individuals who have tested COVID-19 positive.
  • Employees would be routinely tested for COVID-19 and proper procedures will be followed for positive cases like immediate isolation.
  • Conduct required protocol training to ensure workers obey all health, hygiene, and safety measures including wearing gloves and masks, social distance, frequent sanitization of work equipment such as alcohol trolleys and coffee machines.
  • Employees will be asked to share their residential address to determine if they will be traveling from a containment / restricted (red) zone and also share details of the mode of transportation they will be using.
  • Delivery trucks will only be permitted to access the hotel premises after the truck has been sanitized and the driver’s temperature check.

Insurance & Liability:

Hotels must review their present insurance plans to assess the type and scope of the company risk cover due to the current pandemic and subsequent government lockdown orders. Many of the domestic business interruption policies cover interruptions due to physical disruption to the property due to act of God but do not cover a pandemic situation or a lockdown situation imposed by the government. Perhaps hotels can consider purchasing the insurance coverage needed to compensate for such a future pandemic/epidemic and resulting government-mandated lockdown.

Furthermore, if any guest contracts COVID-19 inside the hotel premises and make a claim against the hotel, it should be inspected if the hotel is covered from risk. If insurance does not provide protection or comfort, at the time of check-in, hotels should consider having guests sign waiver/relinquishment forms.

Conclusion

During this lockdown period, a systematic and comprehensive review should be undertaken to ensure that business recovery after lockdown occurs in a safe and well-organized manner. While many storms in the form of SARS, swine flu, and the like have been weathered by the hospitality industry, the current situation is also ‘novel.’ Flexibility and adaptability will go a long way to ensure the road to recovery is navigated successfully.

Leave your thought here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *