The hotel industry was one of the hardest hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a study by the US Travel Association, 40% of the 16.9 million jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry have been lost so far, and many companies are having to wait until guests are comfortable enough to get back on the road.
In response to the new reality, hotel staff will need to implement updated disinfection and cleaning procedures to make their guests feel safe enough to return. Here are 10 COVID tech solutions designed to facilitate these changes and create an adaptable environment for guests new and old.
1. Digital concierge bots
“Touchless Tech” is used more and more in the hospitality industry as hotels improve the comfort of their guests. An important problem is the delimitation of the contact points throughout the building in order to reduce possible germ contact.
At digital concierge stations, guests can check in, ask questions and request services that are normally offered at reception. These systems are powered by artificial intelligence to understand the guests’ experience. You don’t have to download an app, it can be integrated into your phone’s settings.
2. Cleaning the tracker techniques
By keeping track of cleaning tasks completed, guests will receive evidence of a hotel’s cleaning solutions and updated practices to ensure health and safety throughout the pandemic.
Systems such as CleanTracker technology offer guests a digital record of all cleaning tasks carried out by hotel staff, from disinfecting the contact points and cleaning the germs to protection against further contamination. The system also organizes a list of tasks that housekeepers or cleaners need to perform and won’t let them go ahead without completing each point.
In an interview with Medical Daily, Einar Rosenberg, CIO of CleanTrackers company Creating Revolutions, stressed that fear is a major factor preventing consumers from traveling again. Systems like these not only have to dispel fears, they also have to help hotels get back on their feet.
3. Hospital grade air purifiers
FDA-approved air purifiers can quickly and efficiently destroy pathogens and viruses in the air, such as the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Air purifiers ensure clean air in all hotel or resort rooms and remove many pollutants that would have been inhaled by guests and employees.
The devices can destroy and reduce viruses and protect against bacteria. They do not produce ozone and do not disrupt airflow as they ensure a healthy environment for guests and employees.
4. Self-cleaning materials
Special cleaning properties have been developed to create a new type of clean, stick-on skin (a peel-and-stick surface) and mats. The self-disinfection system for high points of contact such as handles, tables and other surfaces is in operation around the clock for up to three months.
In an interview with Medical Daily, Dennis Hackemeyer, co-founder of NanoTouch Materials, said that his company’s product, NanoSeptic Self-Cleaning Surfaces, was invented to provide a visible, self-cleaning product that would work on any surface.
The self-cleaning services are operated with light and thus ensure more environmentally friendly cleaning. No toxins or chemicals are released into the air as the nanocrystals that make up the system are bound to the material. The services have been implemented in almost all known hotel chains in the USA
4. Robot cleaner
Using robots in hotels is another interesting way to use artificial intelligence for daily tasks. These robots offer convenience, disinfection, and updated COVID cleaning services. The robots can not only disinfect surfaces and rooms, but also fulfill guest requests such as the delivery of bottled water and towels using voice commands or touchscreen orders.
5. Personal system for hotel contact
Many hotels have recommended the use of systems that can be downloaded onto personal devices. These allow guests to use the messaging system of their choice (WhatsApp, SMS texts, Facebook messages) to contact hotel staff.
The system eliminates the need for face-to-face contact and allows guests to stay where they are comfortable, but still have access to the help or services they need, including direct message requests to hotel managers.
6. Virtual reservation system
Hand in hand with COVID changes, contactless virtual systems can also provide booking strategies for reservations.
Reservations for tables in on-site restaurants or bookings in the hotel itself can be made. The management system allows for less crowded lobbies, improved social distancing policies, and ordering tables or personal rooms with personal devices.
8. Preventive maintenance checklists
In order to effectively implement new health initiatives for COVID, systems that help hotel employees organize and assign daily tasks are helpful. With online checklists, hotels can do just that while receiving requests from guests without personal communication.
According to Marketing Manager Merril Guzman, the ALICE software program is used in 2,500 hotels worldwide. The program helps stay organized and productive both in front of and behind the house.
The technology can track and manage tasks in its system, has mobile access and can assign tasks within the virtual system.
9. Mobile key system
With online key systems, guests can access their rooms with their own mobile devices. In addition to personalizing information, keyless rooms reduce the contamination and points of contact that normal key systems would have.
Locks can also be updated without having to be changed. Guests can have any number of keys and receive information from the hotel on their mobile device.
10. Resource Guide to COVID Practices
According to a press release from Revinate, which offers online reputation management for hotels, 70% of hotel managers are looking for a central location for COVID resources. Executives need a place where they can understand market conditions and strategies so they can get back on their feet, often with limited information. Revinate provides a central location for coronavirus updates, best practices for communication between guests and employees, coronavirus guest surveys, news from across the hotel industry and networking opportunities.
Lara Becker is an intern at Medical Daily and a senior at the College of New Jersey. She is studying journalism / professional writing and communication studies.