Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified in January 2020, the hospitality industry has increasingly seen a negative impact on travel and guests’ comfort level with staying in hotels. During these unprecedented times, society has an increased responsibility for the health and safety of everyone by practicing social distancing.
Social distancing has rapidly become a familiar term due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it is the practice of making a conscious effort to keep physical distance between others. This practice is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illnesses, and it is very important for hotels to express their participation, highlighting that hoteliers are taking proactive measures to provide safe environments for guests and staff.
There are strategies that hotels can implement during the guest arrival process to integrate social distancing without compromising standard procedures:
- Pre-Arrival Preparation: Prior to guest arrival, check-in packages and key cards can be prepared ahead of time for guests to retrieve from a designated area.
- Mobile Terminals: Relocate front desk terminals to designated areas in the lobby to act as separate check-in areas for guests. RoomKeyPMS has the functionality of operating on portable devices such as Microsoft Surface Pro tablets that allow for wireless mobility with the flexibility of performing any task while on the move.
- Virtual Registration: Registration cards or any documentation requiring the guest signature can be integrated through signature pads that can be situated a safe distance away from front desk agents. Various alternatives such as taking a photo of a guest holding registration cards or acknowledging any terms and conditions can also be done electronically.
- Contactless Payments: Obtaining credit card payments can also be safely implemented by utilizing tap options (increasing the maximum threshold if needed) to avoid unnecessary handling of pin pads, swiping credit cards, or obtaining signatures.
- Managing Queues: To manage multiple guests in the lobby at the same time, designated markers on the floor can be created to advise guests on where to stand in a queue, ensuring each guest is a safe distance apart from one another.
Implementing a few simple strategies at the front desk can help ease any concerns for guests during the arrival process. In addition, any initiatives taken by hotels to practice social distancing can reassure the public that hoteliers are taking part in maintaining the health and safety of both guests and hotel staff.
Image Credit: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash