How hotels are using technology to boost traveler confidence at times of COVID

As the hospitality industry struggles to survive after suffering a major loss as a result of Covid-19 last year, hotels are incorporating a combination of state-of-the-art technologies to boost consumer confidence improve and reduce losses caused by pandemics.

A study published in November by researchers at Stanford University and Northwestern University, USA, said the reopening of restaurants, gyms and hotels poses the greatest risk for dissipation. further Covid-19.

While people who want to visit hotels and restaurants are worried about catching the virus, the hospitality industry is incorporating new technologies into their work to protect guests and staff. .

Technological features intended to be novels first become essential at times when some people are reluctant to step out of their homes.

According to the authors of a research article published in the journal Information Technology & Tourism, the pandemic will end, but the hospitality industry will never return to the “old norm”.

“Traditionally, many luxury hotels emphasize face-to-face communication at every point of the guest trip. However, after Covid-19, these methods and procedures may require change, “the authors noted.

Hotel guests, they said, expect much higher standards of hygiene, and show far greater value for offline services.

“During such uncertain times, hotels have a rare opportunity to invest in technology and process improvements to gain long-term competitive advantage,” the authors said.

As a result of the pandemic, India ‘s hospitality and tourism sector has suffered three – quarters of economic downturns estimated at up to 15 lakh crore.

According to Vibhas Prasad, Group Director of Leisure Hotels, Covid-19 has impacted most regions across the globe, with the hospitality industry among the hardest hit.

However, Prasad noted that the players are hopeful of regaining the momentum lost in the latter half of 2021 and are banking efforts to boost consumer confidence and ‘revenge travel’ improve the control of pandemics.

“The leisure industry is now returning to normalcy and is expected to further rise after the vaccination,” Prasad told PTI.

He said in addition to implementing complete hygiene & sanitation protocols to make the guests feel safe & comfortable, the hotels are affiliated with his organization on the regular processes and activities turned to ensure minimal human communication is required.

Prasad said that while digital surveying & auditing is already a new norm, the company has also introduced technologies such as e-newspapers or magazines to its visitors.

“Contactless payments and a communications lighting dinner offer our guests extra convenience and confidence so they can travel non-stop,” he said.

According to the ‘Rethink Travel Global Survey’ conducted by the Spanish IT provider, Amadeus, technology plays a vital role in supporting healing.

Read | The tourism and hospitality sector could not find a place in the 2021 Union Budget

In the survey, 84 percent of travelers surveyed said technology would increase their confidence to travel by addressing concerns about mixing with population, social distance and physical contact points.

Technology will play a key role in the long road to overcoming Covid ‘s crisis for India’ s hospitality industry, says a report by RMS Cloud, an Australian – based software company.

Shiv Kumar Mehan, COO of HIDEWAY BEDzz, a facility for spiritual travelers & backpackers in Rishikesh, noted that Covid-19 has certainly accelerated the spread of emerging technology and software. into hotel work.

“These self-service systems help personalize guests’ accommodation in the midst of a pandemic, and the integration of state-of-the-art technology is critical for hotels. just to keep going, ”Mehan told PTI.

He noted that with the adoption of such technologies, hotels are making a conscious effort in providing a carefree environment for all guests.

“From replacing tight restaurant menus and paper compendiums with scannable QR codes inside to hotel-free registration capabilities, almost every aspect of the hosting experience is now available through button on your mobile devices, “Mehan said.

Prasad said other technological interventions for offline communication, as well as anonymous experiences, include seamless payments, in-app ordering of food and services, and meeting ordering.

According to the hosting experts, technical devices are used to provide remote access to front desk, concierge and messenger service activities through live chatbots or chairs with staff on premises.

Cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) software can coordinate home maintenance systems, assign employee responsibilities and verify compliance with newly developed cleanliness standards, they said.

IoT allows devices on closed private internet connections to communicate with other such devices.

Experts said virtual TV control systems are replacing traditional hotel TV remotes that are known to pose a contagious contamination.

There are also smartphone apps available that give hotels a free investment management system to accommodate overnight guests with reserved seats placed at least six feet apart at pools and beaches.

Then, air purifiers are intended for medical purposes to kill bacteria & viruses in the air.

All of these technological advances, experts said, can instantly put support into the hands of guests without the need to face-to-face with hotel staff.