New Standards in Hotel Stays Post Coronavirus

Has cabin fever got 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. However, more travelers will choose to stay longer at one destination.

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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. These are contactless check-ins, keyless entry, and automated payments.

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Cleaning

Extensive new cleaning practices are in place for protection against potential Covid-19 viruses. Before guests arrive, all rooms are deep cleaned. The same cleaning protocols are 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 are placed throughout 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. 

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Limited Dine-In

To limit the number of guests in hotel restaurants, capacities will be significantly reduced. Tables are 6 feet apart. In order to provide sufficient space for all guests, the opening hours of restaurants and other hotel facilities will be extended. Everyone should use no-contact, delivery room service. Self-service offers, such as buffets, are reduced to a minimum. Wherever possible, food and beverages are served to guests by staff wearing protective masks.

Social Distancing

Signage and guidelines posted around the hotel will remind guests of social distancing rules. Marked paths in common areas and hallways will control the flow of traffic. In public areas, such as in the restaurants, corridors or gyms, all employees will 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 handwashing 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 are adapted so you or the therapist are the only people in the room fitted with HEPA filters. Childcare is organized to new standards. Such standards are 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.

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Sucheta Rawal

Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer, who has traveled to over 90 countries across 7 continents. She is also the founder and editor of 'Go Eat Give' and author of 'Beato Goes To' series of children's books on travel.