The tourism sector needs to be prepared for considerable changes in consumer demands when restrictions are lifted and demand for travel returns. In particular, the lodging industry needs to be prepared for guests now demanding the highest levels of hygiene and sanitation, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Ralph Hollister, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Post-COVID-19, consumers will be likely to place as much importance on hotel hygiene standards as they will on price and location. Fears over contracting the virus will live on far after the pandemic is over. Due to the large scale of many hotels, they naturally encourage gatherings of large amounts of people in relatively confined spaces. Guests will be hyper aware of this fact when hotels re-open.”
According to GlobalData’s COVID-19 consumer survey, 85% of global respondents are either ‘extremely’ or ‘quite’ concerned about the global outbreak of COVID-19.
Hollister continues: “Hotels need to determine a plan of action for deep-cleaning hotel guest rooms, meeting spaces, front desks, restaurants, fitness centers and other public areas. Good hotel hygiene policies need to be implemented across the board such as implementing hand sanitizer stations in convenient locations and ensuring the frequent cleaning of high-touch areas.”
“Problems may occur for multinational hotel companies that franchise a high number of their hotels. If ongoing support and training to franchisees is not regular and concise to help them fully grasp new hygiene protocols and operations, standards may fluctuate between hotels, which will create a negative impact on a company’s image.”