We hear the term “New Normal” almost everywhere we look, but what does it really mean? How can we set ourselves up for success when it comes to this brave new reality? Before answering these questions and more, let’s take a step back to recap past events.
COVID19 came as a complete surprise and had an overwhelming effect worldwide. Many industries were impacted by the recent pandemic, the public health system was suddenly flooded with new patients, and the economy suffered a serious blow. While some industries managed to remain somewhat active while working from home, others such as the hospitality and travel industries, were more seriously affected.
While the consequences of the pandemic are indeed grim, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel: The travel and hospitality industries have always been resilient to external shocks, as humanity will always long to travel and explore the globe.
What should hoteliers be doing now to prepare themselves for the New Normal? We’ve got you covered with these 5 tips.
Tip 1: Touchless Guest Experience in the New Normal
Enabling guests to book a hotel online is certainly helpful, but taking things a step further would be allowing contactless payments.
The WHO is now encouraging the use of contactless payments, to help prevent the spread of the Corona Virus via bills or credit cards.
A recent Bloomberg article notes that “Use of contactless mobile payments — services that once struggled to catch on in the U.S. — is surging as people come to see their phones as the safer way to pay. They’re also using mobile apps tied to payments, such as Amazon Prime Now, to place delivery or pickup orders for groceries. The Treasury Department may even let people who don’t have bank accounts receive their coronavirus relief checks via mobile-payment services like Venmo.”
Hotels nationwide are now upgrading their services to provide guests with full functionality and control over all devices in their rooms via smart control apps. Guests can now unlock their rooms, turn on lights and TVs, and even set their desired temperature – all from their mobile devices.
Tip 2: Indoor Climate Automation in the New Normal
While many hotels are currently underbooked or even vacant, hotel managers must still keep all rooms functional. This includes ensuring that all heating and cooling systems in the rooms are maintained within a safe range of temperatures at all times, to prevent any weather damage to the hotel infrastructure due to extreme weather conditions.
Extreme cold weather may cause frozen pipes to burst or rupture, while extreme hot and humid weather may lead to “Wet Walls” – humidity damage and mold in the rooms.
Alternatively, keeping room AC units on at all times to control humidity is hardly cost effective (especially during COVID season), contributing to over consumption of energy and inflated utility bills.
To combat these unfortunate situations, many GMs are forced to check up on all rooms on a daily basis, switching the heating & cooling systems on and off manually as part of their daily routine. As this can be a quite time consuming and tedious process, implementing an Indoor Climate Automation System can efficiently and effectively assist with this ongoing task.
All it takes is turning it on – and the system will automatically adjust room climate settings to the predefined parameters, and the rest is history!
Tip 3: Predictive Maintenance in the New Normal
Predictive maintenance techniques are designed to help determine the condition of hotel appliances, infrastructure and equipment in order to determine when maintenance should be performed. This approach promises cost savings over routine or time-based preventive maintenance, because it enables the detection and fixing of defects before they result in failure.
Alerts notifying hotel staff of system malfunctions, heating and cooling system errors and connectivity bugs are all crucial for ongoing maintenance as well as contributing to the bottom line.
This functionality is especially crucial these days when most hotels are understaffed due to COVID, leaving most maintenance tasks to be carried out by the skeleton crew.
Tip 4: Cleaning and Maintenance in the New Normal
Hotels everywhere are jumping to accommodate new safety and cleanliness guidelines, as awareness for potential viral spread is on the rise. Hotels are now uniting in their efforts to set standards for cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID19.
From cleaning all surfaces in rooms and public areas to food safety, it’s essential to make sure all hotel sanitization protocols are organized and thorough.
That being said, it’s important to make sure that not only guests – but staff too – are kept safe and risk free. Implementing a cleaning schedule and route for the Maintenance Team to access each room with as little contact with hotel guests as possible, is imperative. This will help contribute to the new social distancing norms, as well as minimize potential viral spread.
Tip 5: IAQ Monitoring in the New Normal
Indoor Air Quality is much more than just temperature and humidity; it’s also about contaminants floating in the air we breathe that could have serious health effects on your guests (and employees).
Monitoring, detection and management of high levels of CO2 in the room may help eliminate feelings of “stale and stuffy” air.
Detection of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), as well as dust and other fine particles may very well prevent risk of spread of diseases. While many are asking if the COVID virus could be passed through the hotel’s HVAC system, it’s important to set up a safety net of sensors that can detect, alert and monitor poor IAQ.
This crisis has brought upon us many challenges, with many unexpected twists and turns. Those of us ready to change and adapt to the new normal, will become the preferred destinations for guests when travel bans are lifted.
Now would be a perfect time to set in motion a new standard for hotels in the New Normal, starting early gives you an advantage over all others.
To learn more about the ZES Indoor Climate Management System, schedule a call with one of our experts.
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