Has cabin fever gotten you down? Are you looking to book your next vacation for later this summer, during Thanksgiving, or pushing it out to 2021? If you are concerned about staying at a hotel and want to know what they are doing to ensure your safety, health and hygiene, this post should give you some good insight. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) which represents the global Travel and Tourism private sector, has unveiled a range of new worldwide measures to restart the travel sector. Based on these mandates, hotels across the world are already making key changes before they reopen. Here’s what to expect…
Reduced Capacity – Though not required to do so, most hotels are planning to fill approximately 60% of their rooms. This will allow them to have more lag time between check-ins so they can thoroughly clean each room and apply more resources toward existing guests. Speculations are that cost of hotel per night will go up, but more travelers will chose to stay longer at one destination.
Use of Technology – You may not be walking up to a check in desk, having small talk about how your journey was, and waiting for the agent to allocate your keys anymore. The WTTC encourages hotels to integrate technologies to enable automation, such as contactless check-ins, keyless entry (using smartphone apps), and automated payments, where possible.
Cleaning – Extensive new cleaning practices will be put in place to provide the best possible protection against potential Covid-19 viruses. All rooms will be thoroughly deep cleaned before the arrival of guests and the same intensely robust cleaning protocols will be applied during every guest change over. The most frequently used areas, such as bathrooms, and most used devices and appliances like TV remote controls will receive particular attention. Disinfectant dispensers will be placed all around the property especially at all important contact points. Some hotels will pre schedule your housekeeping time.
IHG is offering individual guest amenity cleaning kits, as part of their Clean Promise program launching on June 1, 2020. They will also appoint on-property Clean Champions to continue building the culture of clean instilled in IHG hotels around the world.
Limited Dine-In – To limit the number of guests in hotel restaurants, capacities will be significantly reduced. Tables will be set up at a minimum distance of 6 feet apart. In order to provide sufficient space for all guests, the opening hours of restaurants and other hotel facilities will be extended. Room service using no-contact delivery methods will be encouraged. Self-service offers, such as buffets, will be reduced to a minimum. Wherever possible, food and beverages will be served to guests by staff wearing protective masks.
Social Distancing – Signage and guidelines will be posted around the hotel to remind guests of social distancing rules. There will be marked paths in common areas and hallways to control the flow of traffic. In public areas such as in the restaurants, corridors or gyms, all employees will be required to keep a distance of 6 feet between them and the guests.
Personnel Training – The new protocols will be enforced with the staff first and training is underway. Daily temperature monitoring, social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures, including hand washing and the use of masks and gloves will be practiced. Training by independent auditors is also likely.
Entertainment and activities – Many travelers enjoy using the spa, swimming pool, play golf, or watch live shows at resorts. For the next few months, only events involving a small number of participants and without close contact, will be made available. Golf or tennis, for example, can take place, but football tournaments cannot. Spas will be adapted so you are the therapist are the only people in the room fitted with hepa filters. Childcare will be organized according to new standards in line with the requirements of the destinations and guests’ countries of origin.
Hotels, from MGM Resorts International to Marriott International are outlining their comprehensive health and safety protocols and procedures designed in conjunction with medical and scientific experts to deter the spread of the virus, protect customers and employees and rapidly respond to potential new cases. Make sure to check the website of the hotel for what they are doing, before booking your stay.