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DIGITIZING THE HOTEL INDUSTRY SAFELY WITHOUT LOSING THE HUMAN SIDE

ADEQUATE COMMUNICATION AMONG MANAGEMENT, STAFF AND GUESTS

Management has to inform all the staff of the structure on the measures to be taken to guarantee the total safety of both employers and customers. In addition to the hygienic obligations to be followed, it is strongly recommended to write a “daily diary” – possibly digital – on which to record the activities carried out (such as the sanitizations, the disinfectants used and the staff members who conducted the operations). A high degree of interaction between guests and workers is also fundamental. In this regard, brief information posters – projected on the screens in the various common areas – that promote handwashing, oral hygiene, and etiquette rules can be effective. It is also recommended to strengthen the signs – both vertical and horizontal – to guide and distance guests.

AIR CONDITIONING

Although Covid-19 is not transmitted by air – but by droplets emitted from the nose and mouth of infected subjects – maximum attention must be paid to ventilation systems. In particular, it is necessary to monitor constantly the condition of the filters and increase their frequency of maintenance. Then, experts suggest to activate the entrance and extraction of air at least an hour before and up to an hour after public access. Besides, it is advisable to avoid the gathering of people in those areas of connection between the different rooms of the building that enjoy little ventilation or are lacking in it (such as corridors), engaging these spaces only for short-term transit.

ROOM CLEANING

The cleaning and disinfection of the rooms must be carried out with the utmost rigor and accuracy. The staff will have to pay particular attention to the objects which customers often come into contact with, such as handles, switches, remote controls, etc. In addition, paper and extra publications (tourist guides in the area, discount cards, etc.) must disappear. All these services will be appropriately digitized.

RESTAURANTS, DINING ROOMS AND BARS

Both at the entrance and at the exit from the dining areas, the service staff must remind customers to disinfect their hands with gel, possibly located near these structures. Instead of the buffet, table service is recommended: compliance with hygiene rules by the staff (in addition to the use of masks and gloves) and adequate distribution of spaces are fundamental in this sense. The menus from the table must disappear: guests can consult them online (probably from their smartphones) and the staff will communicate any specials of the day. Sanitization of all surfaces at the end of each service is mandatory.

Digital transformation in the hotel industry
Digital transformation in the hotel industry – Photo credits: Facebook Fairfield Inn & Suite by Marriott – Wasau Hotel

ELECTRONIC PAYMENT AND WEB CHECK-IN

The reception desk will most likely be equipped with plexiglas screens. In any case, electronic payment and online booking management will be favored. For instance, the use of Web check-in will increase significantly from here on. An excellent move to digitize the hotel sector will be to enhance applications related to the customer journey: from emails to the Facebook Messenger system, to dusting off the old-fashioned Sms for less digital customers.

MONITORING POSSIBLE INFECTIONS

Lastly, the staff of the structure must promptly inform the Management and Reception of the possible presence of COVID patients, while ensuring maximum discretion.

Should we expect robots that will bring the sanitizing dispensers to the entrance? This does not seem to be the scenario, at least in the coming months. But it is certainly the time to put those digital resources into play in this sector too. With the bold bet that health protection will not reduce the value of human relationships.

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