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What Will Hotels Look Like Post-Pandemic? | Here Is Our Best Guess

Travelers Today       By    David Thompson

Updated: Feb 22, 2022 10:34 AM EST

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Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

(Photo: Mikhail Nilov from Pexels)

COVID-19 has changed our individual lives in many ways, from the way we shop, the way we travel, and the way we socialize. Unfortunately, businesses have been impacted significantly, with hospitality taking one of the largest blows. So, as we adjust to the new normal, what can we expect from hotels as we begin to travel again?

Undoubtedly, there has been a massive shift in attitude within hotels, which going forward will pose many changes that we haven't experienced before. So today, we're going to discuss our best prediction of what hotels will look like in the post-pandemic world. 

Increased Technology

Technology was becoming a large part of the hospitality industry before the pandemic, so it's no surprise that this will continue afterward. The adoption of technology is critical for businesses to profit, and with the younger generation filtering into events and management, it's ever-expanding. 

But we now have a new use for technology, which assists in making venues safer in the post-pandemic world. Certain technologies can help minimize the risk of COVID-19 and put the guests' minds at ease. Click on this link to learn more

Limiting human contact

Contactless activities are a new trend in the hospitality industry, using technology to limit hand-to-hand contact as much as possible. Some of the already available tech options are listed below.

■ Contactless/online check-in and check-out

■ Digital food and drink menus

■ Virtual TV remote control

■ Apps that monitor social distancing in public places

While this is a good start, technology can do so much more. As travel opens up again and people start to roam, here are some of the things you can likely expect to see adapted into the future of hotels.

■ Self-service payment systems

■ Facial recognition access

■ Increased use of apps (to open doors/curtains, change the channel, or order food)

■ Remote check-outs

■ Passport/ID scanners

■ Robots working inside hotels

Enhancing the cleaning quality

Of course, social distancing isn't the only thing that hotels can do to keep guests safe. The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of keeping businesses clean. This will continue to be a priority for hotels even post-pandemic. 

In Denmark, the use of cleaning technology has already come into play. With a system called "CleanCoat," guests can stay in rooms that automatically disinfect themselves each morning, without the need for a housekeeper. This works by breaking down harmful microbes such as bacteria. It also purifies the air for up to a year.

Leading hotel chains such as Marriott and Hilton are also taking steps to add technology into their cleaning routines by using robot vacuums and electrostatic sprayers. 

Although cleanliness is essential, hotels need to find the right balance between welcoming and sanitary, as guests don't want to feel like they're staying in a hospital. Nonetheless, cleaning technology will alleviate pressure on the cleaning staff and help guests trust the hotel's cleaning protocols. 

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More Sustainability

Sustainability is another trend that will be introduced to the hospitality industry post-pandemic. There were certain things that hotels were doing in pre-pandemic days to make their businesses more sustainable, but after it became lost in the noise of COVID-19, with plastic gloves and masks in high demand, businesses are now paying extra attention. 

Businesses can benefit from being more sustainable and helping the Earth in many ways. Firstly, it's cost-effective and often goes hand in hand with cost savings, but it also improves the brands' overall image. In addition, showing people that the hotel is actively trying to make a difference will attract respectful staff, including the younger generation. 

The question does linger, though. Will travel be sustainable? As much as hotels change to become greener, a considerable part of this relies on guests. So, will travelers care about going green? And do hotels have sufficient funds to support sustainability? 

Because of these doubts, it's likely sustainability changes won't happen overnight. However, green hotels are a must. Many people believe that the pandemic has given us a chance to reset and reshape the world. The following are some ways hotels can become more sustainable.

■ Remove plastic bottles

■ Provide more vegan/vegetarian meals

■ Create work from home options

■ Invest in predictive maintenance systems

■ Focus on local food sourcing

■ Provide staff education and support training

Hybrid Events 

Merging in-person and virtual events is called a "hybrid event." Here, attendees can be there both physically and virtually. This can benefit social distancing numbers and guests who need to be self-isolated or wary of large crowds. 

Although this is a great new way of holding events, either for business or leisure, for hotels to adopt this method, they will need to provide the needed resources such as adequate power, a quality AV setup, and high-speed Wi-Fi. It may also be necessary for hotels to partner with a hybrid expert to assist with event planning.

Of course, this won't eliminate sanitation risks, but with a portion of the guests attending virtually, it will make the in-person attendance more manageable. 

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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