Must-Haves for California Hotels to Welcome Guests Back Safely in 2021
As our thoughts turn to what life looks like after quarantine, those in the hospitality industry are preparing to welcome an influx of cautious guests back to hotels and restaurants. At a time when many travelers are operating in a higher state of stress and fear, hotels must offer guests reassurance that health, safety, and cleanliness are being given more priority and thought than ever.
In California, hotels are still obligated to follow the California Department of Public Health’s blueprint for reopening. Many other states have, with cautious optimism and reduced restrictions, and California will soon be doing the same. Here are 3 must-haves for hotels to welcome guests back with the peace of mind they need in 2021.
1. Upgraded Health and Safety Procedures
This one is a no-brainer; we all think about the sanitation of surfaces, contact with others, and cleanliness differently than we did in the pre-pandemic world. So how can hotels rethink the customer experience to ensure that guests feel comfortable in public again?
Enhanced focus on cleanliness and a level of physical distancing will be critical pieces of the hospitality industry’s recovery. Whether these practices will become permanent changes is unclear, but hospitality professionals must consider designing hotel experiences with different needs in mind for the time being.
2. Updated Approach to Amenities
Amenities include much more than your approach to the use of hotel pools, restaurants, spas, and common areas. The amenities you typically provide in guest rooms – a mini bar, toiletries, etc. – need a new approach as well.
Consider stocking PPE (personal protective equipment) kits in guest rooms before your guests arrive. Readily accessible masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes are a few items you may want to include. And if you typically provide items like pens, remote controls, and toiletry products, you may also need to adapt the way you provide them; consider single-use and disposable toiletries for guests rather than multi-use bottles, which can be difficult and time consuming to clean properly between guests.
Putting new health and safety practices in place is crucial. Equally important: making sure those practices are communicated to your guests and that the communication is reinforced repeatedly.
Given today’s circumstances, adherence to health, safety, and cleaning best practices is not enough; open promotion of cleaning, disinfecting, and other safety measures that have been implemented are paramount to giving guests confidence. This should begin digitally before guests arrive on your website, social media channels, and email communications, and be reinforced with signage throughout your hotel – at entrances, in the lobby, hallways, and other areas that are considered high traffic locations.