How hotels can prepare for Hospitality 2.0 after COVID-19

Dakota Murphey
Business Growth Consultant
2nd June 2020

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had an enormous - and generally detrimental - impact on hotels and the hospitality industry. However, whilst it is important to recognise the damage that has been done to the industry, now is also the time to look forward and consider how hotels can change for Hospitality 2.0. 

The post-COVID-19 world will demand a lot of changes from hotels. So here we take a look at how your hotel can prepare for Hospitality 2.0 in the wake of COVID-19. 

Cleaning and sanitisation 

Cleaning and sanitisation have become an extremely important part of running a hotel post-COVID-19. Guests and staff have it at the forefront of their minds, and that is before you have even considered the need to comply with hygiene regulations. 

That’s why you will need to review your property’s cleaning and sanitisation processes and procedures. This could include the use of UV cleaning lights as well as medical-grade cleaning materials that are officially approved for use in hotels. 

Re-think your furnishings

You may need to re-think some major parts of your hotel - such as the fabrics, furniture and amenities in guest rooms. There are some aspects of hotel stays that may no longer be appropriate at least in the immediate future, such as minibars, remote controls, and even light switches. 

There are alternatives that could be far more appropriate and ensure a hygienic environment for staff and guests. 

Ensure your air conditioning system is suitable

Due to the fact that the virus can be spread through the air, it is important to ensure that your hotel has an air conditioning system that is suitable for the needs of the property. You should take the time to have the flow of fresh and recycled air optimised so as minimise the risk of the virus spreading should it be shown to be more dangerous.

The virus is not considered to be airborne - however, it can be transferred in the form of respiratory droplets.

Digitise processes

Perhaps one of the most interesting ways in which COVID-19 could affect the running of hotels is that it could usher in an increasing level of digitisation at the core of processes. While currently many tasks when you arrive at a hotel are performed by a human, it may be the case that there will be a need to avoid human contact. 

For example, it may be the case that a human does not to be physically involved in the check-in and check-out process. Individuals could check-in and check-out using digital services - and there could also be the opportunity to use mobile room keys and other digitisation technologies. 

Optimise space for social distancing

It is likely to be the case that social distancing will continue to be an important defence against COVID-19, at least until a vaccine or prevention method is developed. This means that you will need to take some time to analyse the operational workflows of your staff, as well as the movement of guests and staff around your hotel.

This analysis will allow you to optimise the available space and keep track of occupancy levels to ensure that everyone is able to function and spend time in the hotel without breaching government social distancing guidelines. 

Laundry, linen and rubbish disposal

It will also be necessary to be very careful with your laundry and linen operations - as well as the disposal of rubbish from your hotel premises. This will be the time when staff are most at risk. 

As such it will be necessary to put in place new protocols to do everything possible to minimise risk. Additionally, you should implement the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as sealable laundry and rubbish bags. 

Provide information to guests

You need to ensure that you are providing information to guests in the form of brochures and handouts. The best way to keep guests safe while they use your services and amenities is to provide them with plenty of information.

You should explore the possibility of working with large scale printing businesses to have the materials created - it is often the case that bulk printing discounts are available. 

Assess your business model

Finally, it is also worth pointing out that you should take this time to assess your business model and how you operate. There can be no doubt that COVID-19 has changed a lot about the tourism industry, and now is the right time to really evaluate how you will operate.

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