01 Jun Hotels in a post Covid-19 world
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the tourism industry to a grinding halt. According to Hotel Management, eight in every ten hotel rooms remain empty across the nation due to Covid-19. The impact of the crisis on tourism is believed to be nine times worse than 9/11. Hotels across the world are closed and even once restrictions are lifted, guests may still not feel comfortable visiting.
As we head into what would normally be peak season, the hotel industry is sensibly following government advice and regulation on how to implement measures, which adhere to best practice guidance on hygiene, health, and safety to help build trust with travellers.
The approach to health and safety measures
Key to a successful approach is a comprehensive plan for enhanced hygiene and health protection. This plan includes processes and procedures across all hotel operations to prevent the spread of infection and reduce the risk of illness:
- Competent risk identification
- Staff training
- Clear guidance to guests, suppliers, contractors, and visitors to support stringent hygiene
- Enhanced incident management protocols
- Enhanced food, beverage, and amenity management
- Disciplined back of house procedures
- Detailed action plans for containment in the event of a related health incident at the premises
Hotels are already actively reviewing existing health and hygiene standards to ensure guests are welcomed and checked-in safely. Robust hygiene processes will be required in all areas of hotels including elevators, rooms, and communal spaces.
Prioritising guest safety
Once lockdown is lifted and people have the freedom to travel once again, hotels need to be ready. This may mean, implementing several changes, including:
- Contactless check-in and check-out systems
- Re-structuring of shared spaces to allow guests to feel comfortable while adhering to social distancing guidance
- Detailed and regular cleaning routines with a focus on customer-facing surfaces – in both hotel rooms and lobbies. The WHO (World Health Organisation) has compiled detailed guidance on this topic.
- Additional staff training in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
New procedures will need to be stress-tested by independent organisations to make sure they are effective. In doing so, we can continue to uphold an industry standard for hotel hygiene – one which provides guests with the reassurance they need.