AHLA survey reveals travelers’ needs for comfort during pandemic

Facemasks, suspended housekeeping and contact reducing tech top list

A new national survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association found requiring facemasks for employees was the top action needed for travelers to feel comfortable staying at a hotel. Most of the survey’s results are listed priorities on AHLA’s Safe Stay Guest Checklist released in July.

FACEMASKS ON EMPLOYEES and guest and suspended housekeeping services and use of technology to avoid contact were top priorities for travelers’ comfort, according to a new national survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. All are found on AHLA’s Safe Stay Guest Checklist released in July.

AHLA’s national survey found that 87 percent of respondents said face coverings on hotel employees had a lot or at least some impact on their comfort in staying at the property. Also, 85 percent felt more comfortable if guests are wearing masks, 86 percent liked housekeeping to be suspended during their stay, and 85 percent like the use of technology to minimize contact.

Travel has slowed significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic began and is expected to slow even more. According to AHLA, 33 percent of frequent travelers expect to stay in the hotel in the next three months, 18 percent will make stay within three to six months and 25 percent will stay in six to 12 months.

“The hotel industry united to enhance our already rigorous cleaning protocols for the health and safety of our guests, and it’s working,” said Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO. “It’s more important than ever that guests follow our Safe Stay Guest Checklist so they understand what is expected of them no matter where they stay. Travelers across the country looking to include a hotel stay in their upcoming vacation plans know that with the implementation of Safe Stay, hotels will be safer and cleaner than ever before.”

Other popular measures to increase a guest’s comfort level include

Transparent barriers at front desks, concierge or valet stations: 82 percent.

Signage for washing hands, distancing and personal protective equipment: 80 percent

Temporarily closing amenities: 77 percent

Floor markings to promote social distancing: 77 percent

“The overwhelming majority of respondents indicate that these protocols would impact their comfort level, with eight out of ten, or 81 percent, of frequent travelers said they feel comfortable staying in a hotel that has implemented the enhanced cleaning and safety protocols called for in AHLA’s Safe Stay initiative,” AHLA said in a statement.