By Team Tomorrow
Published July 28, 2021
COVID-19’s impact on the travel industry in 2020 was about nine times of that from 9/11, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA). Hotel room revenue was cut in half, from $167 to $85, and occupancy was around 44%, down from 66% in 2019. Now that restrictions are loosening and summer vacations are on the horizon, hotel safety is a #1 priority.
Here are five ways that hotel safety has been upgraded during the pandemic, and what measures may be here to stay:
Some hotel chains, including Marriott, are now using hospital grade sanitizer to clean their rooms, and limited the number of guests allowed in an elevator at a time. Meanwhile, Hilton Hotels is working with the Mayo Clinic and the makers of Lysol to develop sanitation processes that will give guests and employees extra protection.
Other hotels are even using robots to sanitize areas with UV lighting, a trend that may become more popular in the future.
Also, hand sanitizer stations will likely be available throughout your hotel in public areas. You can also expect some chains to include hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes in guest rooms.
Several hotels already have apps that allow you to use your smartphone to check-in, check-out, and double as a room key. Smartphone technology also allows you to pay with your phone for various hotel services, including room service and upgrades. Their theory is that with less physical interaction between hotel staff and guests, the less likely germs will spread.
This theory extends to housekeeping services. In order to get your room cleaned daily, some housekeeping services may only be available upon request or every few days.
Many larger hotel chains are slowly rolling out amenities like spa services and valet parking.
Regarding the gradual return of these amenities, Phil Cordell, Hilton’s global head of lifestyle brands and new brand development, believes that “hotels will likely follow travelers’ leads.”
According to Money.com, several of the world’s biggest hotel chains have instituted special COVID-19 policies to make reservation changes and cancellations easier. These even include hotels that didn’t have such policies in place beforehand.
Most hotels’ cancellation policies are updated through June 30. However, some of them may get extended depending on the pandemic and the summer travel season. These hotels include:
Some hotels have closed or limited their food and beverage services. Others are making pre-made meal boxes instead. Depending on the weather, many hotels are also emphasizing outdoor dining, since it’s much harder to transmit COVID-19 outside.
Many architects and designers are changing their approach to design in homes, offices, and other interior spaces. In this regard, hotels are no different.
Lobby spaces are being transformed to meet the needs of hotel guests. Some hotels introduce air purification systems and clean surface solutions. Others are adding movable screens and dividers in restaurants and bars for more creative, safer seating. As we move into our new normal, you can expect to see a marriage of functionality and aesthetics in many hotel spaces.
In these ever-evolving times, hotels are making safety their #1 priority to give you the extra peace of mind you need. Before you travel, give yourself the gift of peace of mind, by setting up an account with Tomorrow.
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