The New York Times informs in its recent article that several US states have now eased lockdowns to make way for economic activity. As the world learns to live with the virus, the first aim of businesses should be the safety of their staff and their customers.
The hospitality industry has remained resolute in the face of the COVID19 pandemic, having experienced similar circumstances a decade ago. Hoteliers are revisiting their strategies to analyze the economic implications of COVID19 and also identify how exactly they will operate amid the pandemic.
Medical professionals are increasingly calling out for social distancing, constant sterilization of public areas, and hand hygiene. Hoteliers will now have to maneuver their entire offering around the health safety & hygiene of every person on their property at all times. That sounds a bit impractical, right? But, the hospitality industry already has the answer.
The global hotel industry was in between a massive transition towards more automation and technology amenities before the COVID19 pandemic began. The industry had already taken leaps in technology solutions from self-check-in apps to Artificial Intelligence systems.
The amazing “Botlr” room service robot deployments seen at ALoft hotels have been one of my favorite.
Hospitality robots, a recent research also concluded, could be the next big breakthrough in hotels & restaurants with COVID19 prevailing. Dr. Xu, the lead researcher also commented in her interview with Science Daily
“Application of service robots in the hotel industry is on the rise. With the added factor of a need to reassure potential guests that their stays will be compatible with minimized social contact and human interaction, this process could be accelerated. During the lockdown period, it is likely that hotel managers will be planning for a ‘fresh start’ in the recovery and rebuilding period after the social isolation restrictions have been lifted and this is predicted to have a positive stimulus on the adoption of service robots.”
The progress of travel & leisure mobile apps has been simply, phenomenal. It is by far the most lucrative applications for both guests and for hotel owners. For the guest, it is the entire technology experience combined into the palm of their hand. From checking in and Bluetooth room keys, to controlling smart room features the mobile app is the central dashboard of the guest technology experience today.
Marriot hotels have also taken strides in technology with their new BonVoy mobile app. The intuitive mobile app allows booking hotels from anywhere in the world to managing personalized room experiences.
Maybe the most interesting way technology can make hotels safer and more compliant amid COVID19 are UV sterilization robots. The Westin Houston Medical Center Hotel was the first to induct LighStrike’s Germ-Zapping Robots
Hotel owners will agree that the management of all the automation and the guest experience itself is not a walk in the park. Technology management has quickly become an essential element of the hotel strategy. Technology management can prove vital in creating experiences that keep guests both delighted and safe during COVID19.
Having a technology management company or partner assures you peace of mind when looking at the different aspects of technology. These specialized managers are skilled to handle renovations, technology vendor management, technology policies, support, installations, compliance, and many other areas of hotel technology.
M.S. Ziaee, Director of Information Technology at AHT Inc. commented in an online interview with me:
“Hotels need to utilize this time and take a careful step-by-step approach. We need to look at the technology infrastructures in place and see which aspects of the guest experience can be automated. We also need to prioritize cybersecurity and compliance of payment systems with possible data breach threats looming during the COVID19 lockdowns.
We must then look at the macro elements like budgets, policies, liabilities, and the entire guest technology experience to ensure the automation is indeed working. This must then become an ongoing process to ensure the hotel can make use of technology management efficiencies in the long run.”
Hotels can massively benefit from the efficiencies and safety technology brings amid COVID19. Hospitality businesses must reassess their guest technology policies to assure when the lockdowns are over, they are ready to open.
I hope this edition of our blog gave you a basic idea of how technology & automation is already helping hospitality businesses take precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic. For more interesting reads, remember to visit connect with our social feeds. Until next time, see you again soon.