Is It Secure to Keep in A Resort All through COVID?


While travel is mainly on hold due to the pandemic, some tourists are getting creative to enjoy a change of scenery, such as short vacations or local road trips.

Whether you’re planning a socially isolated trip or expecting the return of travel in the future, staying in a hotel may be on your mind. According to a recent survey of travelers, 40% of those who have scheduled vacays in the next six months intend to stay in a hotel.

In the end, staying in a hotel is a calculated risk, and you should consider not only your own vulnerability but also the sensitivity of the individuals with whom you will be engaging. “It’s all about reducing risk,” says Dr. Thomas Russo, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “You can’t get that risk down to zero, but you want to do everything you can to limit risk. It may be the difference between being infected and not getting infected if you do five or six small things.”

Just like other businesses across the United States, hotel rooms are being reopened—and reinvented as safe havens where tourists don’t have to worry about being exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the new coronavirus outbreak, is it, however, a good idea to stay in a hotel room right now?

If you really must stay in a hotel, here are a few things you can do to minimize your risks, some of which can be done before you even check-in.

Research Your Destination

It’s important to stay up to date on the condition of your destination due to rapidly changing limitations, local spikes, and quarantine policies that differ by state. When you book, you may be allowed to travel, but when the time arrives, you might be restricted.

Look out for the Travel Limitations map online that displays the most recent restrictions, as well as current COVID-19 numbers for each destination. This will allow you to establish destination alerts to be notified if restrictions change. While the Travel Restrictions map is a helpful tool, it’s always a good idea to double-check with the relevant regulatory authorities in your location.

Even with the most careful planning, you may need to change your plans at the last minute, so booking travel with flexible change and cancellation policies is necessary. You can book hotels that forgo change or cancellation costs immediately in your search results, or you can filter by Free Cancellation to view only those that do.

Know The Hotel’s Regulations on Safety and Sanitation

If you plan to visit outdoors, cleanliness and safety will undoubtedly be on top of your mind. When selecting a hotel, this will be emphasized even more. Look out for properties that have implemented additional safety precautions. You can also look through the list of hotels with improved health and safety features on the internet.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and some studies undertaken by many top institutes across the world, staying in well-ventilated and clean environments while taking all precautions minimizes the risk of Covid infection dramatically. Hotel rooms are often equipped with sufficient ventilation, which is why some are regarded as safer to stay in.

When Possible, Wear A Mask and Maintain Social Distance

It’s important to understand and follow local restrictions, as states are in various stages of reopening and have varying requirements for wearing masks. While different states have different mask restrictions (you can check the standards for particular states online), it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially if you’re traveling. You can also opt for cloth masks as it allows you to wash and reuse them, which might help you save money.

Distancing Yourself from Others Is Crucial

Many hotels have adopted social distance standards in common spaces, which are marked with signage. When feasible, avoid packed elevators by waiting for the next one or taking the stairs. You’re not in the best shape you’ve ever been in? There will be no judgment here. Request a room on a lower floor where you can avoid taking the elevator by going up and down a few flights.

Make A Request for A Room That Has Been Vacant For A Few Days

Even while hotels are careful about safety and sanitation, it doesn’t hurt to spend a few days longer than the previous guest. Hotels (especially larger establishments) are unlikely to be near capacity with fewer people vacationing, thus requesting an available room should be simple.

Extra Cleaning Will Give You Peace of Mind

BYO cleaning products and a fast wash down of high-touch surfaces will give you peace of mind, even with greater sanitation and a buffer of time between you and the final guest. Light switches, phones, and remote controls, and other hotel supplies should all be considered (even in non-COVID-19 times, this can be smart). According to TSA, if you’re flying, liquid cleaning products can be transferred to 3oz bottles or disinfectant wipes can be packed in your carry-on.

Avoid The Hotel’s Communal Areas

If possible, take room service or dine outside instead of going to a hotel restaurant. If you’re going to the pool, go for the outdoor instead of the indoor, and make sure the chairs are clean before you use them. Similarly, skipping the hotel gym can be a good idea. We’ve got you covered if you’re looking for an excuse not to wear those sneakers. Furthermore, if you choose to use the stairs rather than the elevator, you will most likely be taking more steps. You could also go for a run outside.

Simply Refuse Housekeeping

While there’s nothing like a newly made-up hotel bed, it’s probably a good idea to utilize your Do Not Disturb sign as frequently as possible. Consider it one fewer person with whom you’ll have to deal during your stay. When hotel personnel will almost certainly be forced to wear a mask and gloves while in your room, it’s always a good idea to be cautious. Tipping is still appreciated even if you don’t use the service. When you’re gone, housekeeping will have to clean, and it’s a difficult time to work in the service business.

How Hoteliers Can Improve Guest Experience Amid COVID-19

The hospitality industry is known for putting a premium on quality and customer service. As a result, it’s no wonder that there’s more pressure to maintain guest pleasure in the post-COVID era. However, because the sector is based on human-to-human interaction, hotels and property managers are reconsidering how to win their clients’ trust. After all, acquiring a new customer is more expensive than keeping an old one.

Offer Flexible Cancellation Policy

Due to the pandemic’s unusual nature, many potential hotel guests have lost money on hotel reservations. However, as the globe slowly recovers from COVID-19’s effects, most visitors are still afraid to pay in advance. This is an excellent opportunity for hotel management to demonstrate their appreciation for their customers.

Hoteliers can send a powerful message to potential visitors by offering free cancellations and a flexible rebooking policy for the foreseeable future. Prioritizing your visitors’ safety is a terrific approach to demonstrate that you care.

Improve Hygiene Standards

Maintaining high levels of hygiene has become one of the most important criteria in establishing a competitive edge. Despite the fact that vaccination delivery has commenced over the world, client confidence remains low.

Only 34% of travelers believe it is safe to travel until the WHO declares the pandemic to be over. As a result, the only way for hoteliers to differentiate themselves in this extremely competitive industry is to shift their focus to regular sanitization.

Prioritize cleaning high-contact areas such as the reception desk, doorknobs, bathrooms, and so on. Hand sanitizer dispensers should be placed at reception and in other public areas, such as near the elevator.

Optimize Check-in and Check-out

In public areas such as the front desk or reception, hoteliers must stick to social distancing rules and keep clients secure. Modern managers are looking to technology to help them overcome this difficulty. While some hotels have pre-arrival protocols in place for their guests, others have incorporated express or online check-in or check-out.

Cleaning and disinfecting POS touch-points on a regular basis, as well as preserving social distance queueing led by defined markers on the floor, are two simple measures that can be used.

Well Trained Employees

While it’s important to establish confidence and trust with your guests, it’s as crucial to focus on your personnel. Employees must be trained on the hotel’s new sanitary procedures. Given the varying shift timing and social distancing conventions, this can be challenging. However, your employees must be aware of the management’s strategy for dealing with post-COVID demand as well as plans for ensuring a safe environment for guests.

Customize Guest Experiences

In the previous decade, the hospitality business has become more technologically reliant, but it remains fundamentally human-centric. It’s important to remember that, while technology aids experiences, they should always be led by people.

Hotel management must guarantee that their hotel’s relationship with its guests is personal. Providing personalized experiences for your customers is a great approach to improve guest satisfaction and get good reviews that help you develop a favorable online reputation.

Summary

COVID-19 has unquestionably had a substantial impact on the hotel and travel industries. The main goal for most hotels today is to implement the required safeguards to protect their hotel employees while also promoting their services. The most effective technique for regaining business is to provide an amazing visitor experience.

This is also a good time for hoteliers to search for possibilities to upsell and cross-sell to every guest who makes a reservation. Hoteliers and property managers should expect a spike in arriving tourists as borders slowly open.


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