• Nelson Silva

Changes for hotels post-COVID

Hotel operators will need to adapt quickly to meet consumer demands regarding COVID-19, especially if they want to benefit from the likely travel resurgence in later 2021 and beyond. Not only will this benefit operations during the current pandemic, but it will prepare hotels for the potential of other future outbreaks, whether it is something as common as the flu or a virus that is more serious.

Hotel operators will need to formalize their “clean initiatives” to regain the public’s trust. A core part of this effort will be establishing formal cleaning certifications with third-party regulators/entities. This will mean hiring a cleanliness manager who develops plans and trains employees on proper Centres for Disease Control and Prevention-approved cleaning procedures to ensure the property stays in compliance with government and health department orders. Managers also will work more closely with marketing departments to ensure consistent messaging to guests so they’re comfortable about their stay and the hotel brand’s commitment to safety. Additional steps will include enhanced cleaning frequency and potency, revising floor plans to keep guests separated, installing physical barriers where feasible and using ultraviolet light and other technologies to increase the scope of cleaning initiatives.

Even after COVID-19 fades, these concerns will persist, and hotel brands will want to avoid becoming a hotspot for the flu or a norovirus. The length of the pandemic means some of the distancing and cleanliness standards are now embedded in the public’s thinking. Hotel brands must accept this reality and proactively shift their thinking when it comes to cleanliness, social distancing and the ways guests will expect to travel in the future.

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