As we begin to move from counting weeks to months during this COVID-19 pandemic, one of the many questions lingering over us has been – “what’s next?”
So much has changed so quickly, it has been hard to keep up with it all and, for most, this reality was completely unimaginable just a few months ago. It does make trying to figure out what the future holds a bit like trying to catch a wave.
Yet, it is encouraging in the travel and tourism industry, and in particular the hotel industry, the future has started to take shape, even if that shape might be as blurry as the last line on an eye test.
We are starting to see what the new normal might look like as all the major hotel brands release new initiatives they plan to implement to help keep guests safe.
Each plan has its own variations and details, but one thing seems certain: The future of hotels will be cleaner.
Whether it is consulting with the CDC, the global cleaning industry association or a disinfectant company, hotel companies are preparing themselves to go further than ever before to create a clean and safe environment.
Beyond the cleaning, it is also apparent that some of the most common hotel routines are going to look different. The hotel-guest dynamic has been flipped, and instead of looking for guest touchpoints, hotels are looking for as many touchless points as possible. Check-ins, food service and recreational activities are going to look different as the industry finds ways to interact with as little direct contact as possible.
New technology is going to be fast tracked and incorporated quickly to make us safer.
Some of these changes may be temporary, some will be necessary long into the future, and some will be better so, we’ll keep them.
We don’t know for certain what the future holds, but thanks to the resiliency, hard work and creativeness of the tourism industry a path to a bright future will emerge, which will become clearer, and of course, cleaner.