The hotel industry is now in recovery mode as hotels are slowly beginning to re-open for what is usually the busy summer season. Hotel management will most likely opt for a more friction-less and touch-free world resulting in the entire guest experience to look very different. In addition, new health and cleaning guidelines will be adopted and many hotels may go even further by implementing many more changes.
Hotels may forever change the way they operate and shape the new future of the hotel industry; here are some of the new things we may expect to see:
Valet Parking and Bellman Services
Many hotels may look at reducing service touch points wherever possible, beginning with suspending valet services, and opting for guests to park their vehicle by themselves. If hotels do plan to continue offering valet services, they may be required to sanitize each vehicle before and after parking or retrieving a guest vehicle. In addition, Bellman may no longer offer services to assist guests with carrying their bags to their room, requiring guests to do this themselves.
New Hotel Entry Protocols
When entering a hotel lobby, there may be additional security measures guests may be required to adhere to such as temperature checks, face mask requirements, and visually marked physical distancing policies. All guests may also be required to use hand sanitizer before entering or may see hand sanitation stations situated throughout different areas of the hotel starting at the front door, by the elevator, or at the reception desk.
Mobile Registration and Self Check-In
There is a good chance that checking in with the front desk reception may be a thing of the past, especially with many hotels quickly adapting to mobile options for guest registration, self check-in, and digital keys. RoomKeyPMS currently interfaces with OpenKey which does just that, it allows guests to check-in via their mobile device and issues a virtual key directly on their mobile device, essentially eliminating the need to interact with hotel staff.
For hotels that still opt to continue with the traditional check-in method most guests are accustomed to, RoomKeyPMS also interfaces with Orion Systems which offer eSignature capabilities so hotel management can still practice physical distancing between guests and hotel staff while still providing personalized service to guests.
RoomKeyPMS has also launched it’s Mobile Platform which includes a contactless check-in feature. Highlights of this platform include the ability to speed up the arrival process ahead of time by confirming personal information and provide the hotel with critical information through it’s customized mobile platform that syncs seamlessly to the PMS.
New Appearance and Increased Presence of Housekeeping Staff
One change that more and more guests may start getting used to seeing as the “new normal” is hotel staff standing behind plexiglass at reception or concierge desks with masks and gloves. The presence of housekeeping staff may also be more visible especially in public areas or high traffic areas disinfecting high touchpoints such as elevator buttons, house phones, and door handles. These initiatives can also help ease the minds of guests making them feel safer knowing that proper health and hygiene protocols are being maintained regularly.
Hotel Rooms and Housekeeping Service
Guest rooms may have a more minimalist appearance as unnecessary items that are more difficult to disinfect may be removed room such as decorative pillows and bedding, magazines, or even minibar items. Even glassware in the room for example may be replaced with single-use disposable options or additional amenities may be available upon request. In regard to housekeeping service times, it may take longer for room attendants to provide daily service as additional sanitation procedures may need to be implemented. Many hotels may even opt to reduce regular servicing of rooms altogether for guests staying multiple nights or long-term.
Restaurants and Public Spaces
As far as hotel restaurants, guests may no longer be greeted upon arrival or may have to walk to their own table as directed, with each table being situated with proper spacing between each other. Menus may be digital, displayed on a wall, or may use a paper version that can be disposed of after use. To use any public spaces or amenities such as pools, fitness areas, or business centers, guests may be required to book a specific time slot ahead of time.
The departure experience for many guests are already very minimal, especially with business guests or frequent travelers. With hotels already offering express check-out options and auto-charging guest credit cards for outstanding balances due on the day of departure, guests may experience further changes to their departure experience by requiring them to even hail their own taxis when departing the hotel.
As hotels begin to cautiously re-open, the future of the hotel industry will continue to evolve and change daily as they navigate in a new post-pandemic world. More information on RoomKeyPMS’s Mobile Check-In features are available at: https://roomkeypms.com/products/mobile/
RoomKeyPMS makes it easier to provide the best guest experiences, increase revenue and reduce costs, through a cloud-based, better-supported property management system. Book a demo and learn more about the RoomKeyPMS tool and its offerings.
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