Best Practices and up to the minute news on Customer Experience Management and Service Excellence

4 Ways to Meet the Shifting Dynamics of Guest Satisfaction

Post-pandemic guests return with higher expectations your hotel must meet.

Now that a majority of people are vaccinated against COVID and pandemic fears have decreased, travelers are eager to enjoy hotel stays again. However, today’s post-pandemic guests have new expectations that hotels must be prepared to meet for the best guest experience.

“While the hotel industry is keen to get back to ‘business-as-usual’ when the environment permits, it’s likely that some operational changes made during the pandemic will be permanent,” according to “The Ultimate Guide to Elevating Guest Satisfaction,” a report from hospitality technology platform Amadeus.

Hotel guests’ shifting expectations range from having higher cleanliness standards to a demand for more flexible cancellation policies, says the report..

“In this tumultuous environment, we’ve all adapted in unprecedented fashion just to sustain business, says Alex Alt, senior vice president and general manager at Oracle Hospitality, in  “Hospitality in 2025: Automated, Intelligent and More Personal,” a report from Oracle Hospitality.

“But now the pressure is greater than ever to recapture revenue and elevate the guest experience, particularly in light of systemic staffing shortages in hospitality. As trying as some challenges might be, it’s vital to keep in mind that tremendous opportunities await us as well.”

Read on for four ways that guest expectations have shifted — and how your hotel can meet them for a better guest experience.

Health and safety

“Hotel cleaning protocols rank as top priority for travel comfort in the post-COVID era,” says the Amadeus report. “The new “Generation Clean” traveler values cleanliness protocols above all else. Operating standards for safety, security, and cleanliness will be subject to new, elevated expectations, and operational practices are going to have to change.”

Post signs and room placards informing guests of your hotel’s cleaning, sanitizing and hygiene protocols. Also display your hotel’s cleaning protocols on the hotel website to reassure potential guests when they visit or book.

Guest requests

Staffing shortages continue, but that doesn’t mean that the new influx of guests will hold back with room supply requests such as:

  • Bottled water
  • Bath towels
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Rollaway beds

“Faced with these challenges along with reduced staffing levels, hotels should consider tools to help orchestrate hotel tasks such as automating room assignments, managing housekeeping opt-out programs and proactively scheduling maintenance checks to help give limited time back to already scaled-down teams,” says Amadeus.

Contactless technologies

“Technologies introduced widely during the pandemic turned into must-haves — from contactless to mobile messaging — but the core of comfort, control, and convenience remain central to guest satisfaction,” according to the Oracle Hospitality report.

Offering guests the ability to check in and check out, message staff and access their rooms using their smartphones and the hotel app offers more than just convenience. It also tells guests that your hotel values their health and desire for cleanliness and contactless methods.

Flexible cancellation policies

Location and price will always influence guest bookings. But mass cancellations related to the early and middle stages of the pandemic have prompted guests to now seek hotels with less stringent and more flexible cancellation policies, according to a survey conducted by STR, a division of analytics provider CoStar.

“Almost one in three respondents in STR’s global survey stated that the accommodation provider’s cancellation policy was a main factor that influenced booking decisions,” says STR. “While there is an expectation that travel plans will be less prone to change as we move through the recovery, increased flexibility is likely to continue to appeal to consumers going forward.”