Even before the COVID19 pandemic began, hoteliers were looking for intuitive solutions for a humanless experience in hotels. As US states begin to ease lockdowns and businesses start opening, technology will play a very important role in building trust with hospitality guests.
Social distancing will be the mantra as the humanless experience is bound to become the ‘new abnormal’ for hospitality businesses. As one of the SOPs recommended by the WHO, the AHLA, and the CDC, it is critical that hotels ensure they’re enacting social distancing on a daily basis.
“As a general trend, we might expect to see more brands investing in automated services and robot implementation, particularly as we now see robots moving out of the warehouse and factory into the larger world – helped along by falling hardware costs and the rise of 5G networks,”
Brendan Daly – General Manager of Yotel Singapore
One area of hospitality that will surely be popular amid the coronavirus pandemic will be automated check-ins. The need for social distancing will fuel demand in touchless solutions including mobile check-ins, kiosks, and concierge robots.
The Marriott BonVoy App is one of the best with intuitive features like mobile check-in, mobile keys, room service, chatbots, trip planning, loyalty rewards, and much more.
Hoteliers will also look to secure their employees against any possible liabilities. Technology is already assisting hotel owners manager their properties through cloud property management solutions, at its about time most hospitality businesses consider these options.
PMS solutions like the OPERA Cloud PMS, allows general managers to keep in constant control of the property while keeping constant contact with all staff. Staff can remain in the back, as guests interact with them through mobile apps, kiosks, and A.I. bot concierges.
Robots are an increasingly common feature that we are noticing in hotels since the end of 2012. Yotels A.I. powered luggage bot was probably one of the biggest breakthroughs in the hospitality industry, with their unique smart design hotels marvels on their own:
Later we began to see amazing initiatives like Connie the concierge bot featuring at Hilton hotels in 2016 powered by IBM’s Watson AI. Aloft Hotels was one of the first to adopt robot butlers from room service and food deliveries.
The Sheraton San Gabriel was so inspired by robots, that they deployed not one but three guest arrival technologies to ensure safety, but completely merge their experience with social distancing. The hotel not only hosts a luggage delivery bot but also mobile check-ins, a room service bot, and automated check-in kiosks.
Robotics is also going to be a popular solution for mass sterilization of guest rooms and public areas. The Westin Houston Medical Center Hotel is leading the way as they welcomed two LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots to their team in early March:
Building trust within the minds of guests will be the first priority of hotel owners. Technology will lead the way for hospitality businesses to encourage and enact social distancing during the guest arrival process.
I hope you enjoyed our multiple examples of technology that can assist in integrating social distancing at hotels. For more remember to connect with us over our social channels. Until next time, see you again soon.