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How COVID-19 Will Change the Hotel Industry

COVID-19’s Impact on the Hospitality

As hotels begin to reopen for business, here’s a look back on the damage done – and where to start rebuilding

Industry experts predict hotels around the world will slowly start to reopen for business this June, according to several trade publications.

The impacts of COVID-19 have rocked the industry like never before seen. Hotel occupancy dropped by 62% since last year, according to analytics company STR. That’s added up to more than 100% profit losses throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Even after more states lift stay-at-home mandates, travelers won’t be flocking in droves to the usual hot spots to vacation. The hotel industry will certainly be different in the unforeseen future – and likely forever.

As we wait for a COVID-19 vaccine, be proactive with these tips to inoculate your hotel business from further losses.

Hotels can learn from hospitals

Safety needs to be a top concern. Since the initial outbreak of COVID-19, hospital staffs throughout the country have rotated shifts to limit exposure to the virus. Guests should be made aware that your team is taking similar precautions.

And that those working should always be visible with proper safety gear during their shift. Hilton made a smart safety – and public relations – move, by announcing the hotel chain is partnering with both the cleaning company, Lysol, and the Mayo Clinic, for new cleaning procedure guidelines.

There may not be a gold standard for post-COVID-19 yet, which makes it more than proactive to set the standard.

Technology is the greatest tool

Hotels now more than ever need to implement more technology. Check-in can be done at kiosks, rather than greeting the front desk clerk. Guests aren’t going to want a key someone else has touched – so implementing smartphone technology to open rooms is necessary.

Ordering food, changing the temperature of the room, and channel on the TV can all be done through smartphone apps. Any way possible to limit the amount guests touch anything someone else has before will make them feel safer during their stay.

Flexible cancellations

Until there is a vaccine available, there will be uncertainty to keep business operating as normal. Guests may need to cancel reservations at any time, and it should just be accepted as common practice. Creating cancellation policies and deadlines will rub guests the wrong way if heaven forbid they need to cancel plans at the last minute.

COVID-19 will eventually be a thing of the past. Don’t let the same happen to your business.