But it’s not just Mexico: other popular tourist destinations have also been hit hard, causing significant dents in the economies of tourism-reliant countries across the globe. For example, the pandemic has also robbed Europe of billions in tourism revenue, with Italy, a country that receives most of its visitors from the US, now struggling as its biggest tourist base is unable to travel due to health risks.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be doing anything for what comes after. When the world is safer, tourists will be back. With the effects of the pandemic fresh in their minds, however, they’re still going to be worried about the places they visit. As part of the hospitality industry, it’s our job to make their stay as comfortable as possible. To this end, we would like to introduce the hygiene and sanitation protocols we have taken as part of our Royal Care Standard and how other hotels should do the same.
If you have never offered contactless check-ins before the pandemic, it’s recommended that you do now that guests are wary about safety protocols. Royal Resorts has an app that can give its members and guests the option to check-in (and check out) remotely. Take advantage of these slow months to develop a similar system. After all, we should be making the most of the technology available to try and combat COVID as best as possible. Besides, an app isn’t just there just for check-ins; it can streamline your other processes, too. In fact, our app has additional features like making reservations and sending payments. The less contact your guests have with people, the safer they’ll feel.
Just because we can’t shake our guests’ hands doesn’t mean we can’t give them a warm welcome. Here at Royal Resorts, we use the traditional Yucatan greeting called the Ki’imak K’iin. This is where we place one hand over the heart. If your culture has similar no-touch welcomes, like bowing, it’ll be the perfect way to say hello.
If your hotel cleaned spaces at the end of the day before, this kind of lax protocol will not be enough to alleviate people’s worries now. High-traffic areas like the lobby and activity spots (like pools) should be disinfected repeatedly throughout the day. The same rule applies for frequently touched objects like door handles, elevator buttons, and restaurant tables. Royal Resorts takes this to the next step by integrating the use of new technology like electrostatic sprayers and ozone systems.
Of course, even though you tell your guests that your dining room is clean, people still visit it often. As such, your guests might feel more comfortable about dining in their rooms. If your hotel didn’t offer room service for food before, then they should definitely do so now. Royal Resorts even offers off-hands menus via QR code, so guests won’t have to hold anything they’re not comfortable touching.
Even the cleanest hotels can make guests wary. Allow them to ease their worries by leaving a hygiene kit in their room. Make sure it contains the necessary sanitation items, like hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and face masks for both their safety and convenience. Let them keep it. Replace the kit with another for the next people who will use the room.
Navigating the new normal won’t be easy. But if you learn to think like your guests and spot safety points that need addressing, then implementing the changes will be a lot easier.