Every now and then hotels are competing on giving good offers to customers. Upgrading the infrastructure to attract more customers. But, recently hotels are heavily competing on keeping their premises clean.
Hotels are opting for every precautionary measure possible. All this is being done so the customers feel free and safe to come and stay at the hotel.
Consequently, clerks are wearing masks, sanitizers are available at every place and there are no buffets setting. In the US, the maximum numbers of hotels are still vacant. Hotels were empty by 37% till May 30th, which is down by 43% from the year 2019.
But, travel is resuming and hotels see a good opportunity to welcome back customers with the best cleaning standards. This will help them to win business back from rivals like home-sharing companies, such as Airbnb.
“I think, more than ever, customers are going to be looking for that seal of approval.” Said Phil Cordell, Hilton’s head of global new brand development. He is currently leading the group developing new cleaning standards for the company.
Larry Yu, a professor of hospitality management at George Washington University says, some hotels are stricter towards maintaining the cleaning standards than others. A French company, Accor Hotels has developed accreditation standards, which its hotels must meet to reopen.
However, all hotels are opting for enhanced cleaning. Yu says, “Everybody is doing it because it is now expected by consumers.”
To Stay or Not to Stay?
No matter hotels are taking every precautionary measure. But staying there is still risky, says Dr. Albert Ko, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at the Yale School of Public Health.
People coming to hotels from different states or countries are at higher risk of transmitting the virus. As most of the carriers do not show symptoms.
“That’s the kind of thing we’re worried about in terms of public health. Those settings can be the cause of the outbreak.” He said.
Partnerships with Hygiene and Personal Care Giants
Partnerships were done by Hilton hotel with RB, the maker of Lysol and Dettol. Also with the Mayo Clinic to formulate new cleaning techniques to disinfect the most touched areas. Such as door handles, light switches, thermostats, and TV remote controls.
Similarly, Hyatt has done a partnership with the Global Biorisk Advisory council to obtain a new cleaning procedure and an accreditation program.
Marriot and IHG – the parent company of Holiday Inn are working with Ecolab, which makes industrial cleaning products. Cleveland Clinic is providing advice to IHG for new cleaning standards.
Upgrades in Housekeeping
The hotel made changes keeping in mind customer contact points. Hilton will be disinfecting shuttles every hour and providing wipes to the customers. On June 4, MGM Resorts is reopening four Las Vegas hotels. The guests will place orders of food by using the digital menu on their own phones.
However, changes vary from hotel to hotel. Placing of lobby furniture can be further apart than before. There will be more hand sanitizer stations on the hotel premises. Shared coffee stations are not available.
Most touched surfaces of the rooms will get extensive cleaning. Such as TV remotes and light switches. Best Western is getting rid of decorative pillows, pens, and other unnecessary items. The housekeeping staff bags up the dirty sheets inside the room at Red Roof. So that the virus does not spread.
Moreover, Hilton is putting a sticker on room doors to indicate the room is clean and no one has been in the room.
Hotels are incorporating technology to keep the environment clean and safe. Many hotels are encouraging guests to use mobile technology to access the room.
Hotel chains are maximizing efforts to ensure the best procedures for cleanliness and sanitization. However, the challenge lies with franchises to meet the guidelines effectively.