HotStats predicts changes in hotels after post-COVID-19

New technology, stringent cleaning protocols will become permanent

Although there are common adjustments hotels will need to make in a post-COVID-19 world, there won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach that suits every operation, according to a blog from HotStats. The article predicts increased use of touchless technology and intensified cleaning protocols among other things.

THE HOTEL INDUSTRY will be changed forever post-COVID-19 pandemic. HotStats predicts how the hotels will look like post-COVID in its blog, from the use of new technology to different F&B options and non-room amenities.

The HotStats blog lays out five major changes hotels will undergo in the “new normal.” Most of them essentially incorporate changes made for the pandemic to make them permanent changes to the business model.

The expected changes are:

More touchless technology Hoteliers can ease the worries of visitors by adding touch-free devices, such as doors, dispensers and sanitation stations. Mobile apps also can minimize person-to-person contact. That could include more check-in and room-service apps that let guests complete tasks without the face-to-face help of an employee.

A new definition of clean Now, some hotels are adding fresh seals to doors, sanitation stations and even room-cleaning robots. In all cases, new guidelines and the public’s fears both create incentives for hotels to step up their cleaning rituals and push them to the forefront.

Altered F&B operations With the fear of germs hovering in guests’ minds, most hoteliers will shy away from buffet offerings. At the very least, they’ll work to reduce shared utensils or take precautions to spread out seating and food stations. Hoteliers can expect higher demand from guests who want to grab food and drinks on the run. This could mean that a hotel’s F&B services emphasize more takeout, extended to-go options and more complete room service.

Adjustments to in-room offerings Hoteliers who want to provide more peace of mind to travelers will reduce the number of shared devices in rooms. More voice-command devices to control lights, TVs and air conditioning without forcing guests to touch a switch in the room will be included.

A face-lift for non-room amenities Non-room features, such as golf courses; pools and conference centers will likely look different in a post-COVID-19 world. Social distancing and a quest to eliminate germ hotbeds will drive physical changes in these areas. For instance, hotels may start spreading out pool lounge chairs and designate additional waitstaff to sanitize surfaces when guests get up and move on.

In the article, HotStats suggests post-COVID-19 hotels should look at expenses such as labor costs, utilities, property expenses, maintenance costs. Then they should take a deep look at costs in departments including F&B, golf, spa, parking and conferences.

“As hoteliers add new features, cut programs and make adjustments, the most successful moves will be driven by demand. That’s why hoteliers should consult the numbers before deciding to invest in or slim down departments. A solid way to gauge demand is to see how much revenue each department is contributing to total revenue,” it said. “By uncovering departmental demand, hoteliers and decision makers can see which moves make sense and which aren’t worth the extra investment.”

It further said that hoteliers and investors should create a post-COVID landscape ‘built on profit’. Also, hotels should rely on hotel benchmarking and deep market analysis before taking any decision.

In another blog post, HotStats described alternative uses hotel owners may want to consider until regular guests begin to return.