How Covid may change hotel stays

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There is no doubt that once free travel gets underway again, the hospitality industry will look at enhanced safety measures to help keep us safe in a post-covid world. Many holiday companies are reporting record bookings for the summer, and pent-up demand will see many of us heading off for a break as soon as we can. Hotels, tourist attractions, leisure and holiday parks may well be introducing new ways in which to care for the health and safety of their guests.

So how might your visit to a hotel be different next time around?

Booking

You may find you have a set time for checking-in. This would stagger arrival times and avoid congestion at reception and allow for more social distancing.

Guests may receive key information about the hotels health and hygiene process and any process for reporting suspected illness. Guests may even be given preferences for staff interaction, personal assistance, dining and beverage services and leisure and entertainment.

Expect less hands on technology and more use of contactless cards and hotel apps. Many leisure companies now have apps for checking in, booking leisure activities and making restaurant reservations.

Checking-in

As well as staggered check-in times, you may have the option of key types such as single use swipe cards or using your smartphone as a digital key.

Interaction with check in staff may be with protective screens and there may be less valet and luggage assistance.

Health checks and proof of vaccinations may be required and guidelines could be issued for movement in and around the hotel.

Some services such as daily newspapers and currency exchange may be halted. Make sure you get your holiday money before you travel!

Inside the hotel

You may find hygiene notices declaring the cleaning standards of your room, and inside there might be less unnecessary items such as pens and notepaper, minibar (although some might argue that’s not unnecessary….!) menus and tourist information leaflets.

You may come across courtesy single use hygiene packs with face mask, sanitiser, wipes and gloves and there might be less room or cleaning service during your stay.

Lift usage may be restricted to groups of the same party only and increased access for stairs will be available. Think of the health benefits if you have to walk up 4 flights of stairs!

You might find a one-way system in operation through the corridors and other areas of the hotel and communal areas such as lifts and reception areas will have more frequent cleaning from staff.

Food, drink and leisure activities

Bars may operate a table service only and outdoor areas could be expanded. Restaurants would be booking only and there may be less tables and limited seating to allow for social distancing. Breakfast buffets would be closed and alternatives such as table or room service would be offered.

Traditional indoor leisure areas such as gyms and swimming pools may be restricted or closed and hotels could be providing outdoor fitness activities such as local walks and runs or on-site outdoor activities which are socially distanced.

Checking-out

There may be options for guests to manage their linen and towel removal with wash bags provided.

Checking out would be done remotely without interaction and drop off points for keys will be available. Follow up checks might be made after your visit to ensure that no subsequent illness was experienced.

Conclusion

At the moment we live in a different world. Already we are used to some limitations and some of the practices outlined above. Even when restrictions are lifted and we can all travel freely again, either at home or abroad, things will be different for your journey and stay. Many people can’t wait for the time they can travel and take a holiday again and it’s unlikely that any different practices in hotels or tourist attractions will put people off. In fact, it may be positively reassuring.

Hopefully, in a couple of years time this pandemic, and the complications it has brought with it, will be consigned to history and we can all carry on our lives as we always have done.

Many thanks to Mary Smith from Killarney Hotels who provided the insight and information for the article.

Posted by Graham Morley

Graham is the Business Development Manager for Compare Holiday Money.

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