How will Hotels need to adapt to the changing times post COVID- 19

The last two years have been significantly difficult for the hospitality industry in Ireland, where a lot of luxury hotels depend on international travellers visiting the country to explore the beauty, culture, music and nature.

As a digital and book direct partner to many of the highest rated hotels in Ireland and the UK, Aró Digital Strategy has been working tirelessly to make sure that our clients are always on top of the search result pages; and that when a customer lands on our clients’ websites, they get a taste of the property through a smooth online experience with an effortless route to booking via our best in class direct book system.

However, with the changing times, it has also become important for luxury hotels to adapt to certain upgrades or re-visit their offerings to enhance the customer experience before, during and after their stay.

1. Breakfast Buffets 

Gone are the days when customers would look forward to the morning breakfast while queuing up in the restaurant preparing for their day ahead. While most hotels began table services for breakfast in their restaurant during COVID, this might actually be a change that is here to stay. 

Customers will now be more comfortable to have their breakfast served on their tables rather than queuing up amongst other customer and serving themselves due to social distancing. 

This will not only be more hygienic but also give your luxury hotel customers a few extra minutes to chat with their family, to take an early morning work call or just to relax while waiting for their breakfast.

2. Smaller gatherings

While we are experiencing a more niche hospitality industry coming out of the pandemic, luxury hotels will still need to cater to the ever-changing expectations of their customers. 

People will have become more comfortable in smaller gatherings than being exposed to a large number of people in the same room. 

This could mean reducing the capacity of the restaurants/hotels or reducing their size altogether and increasing the number of venues to cater to everyone’s needs. 

This will allow for a reduced number of people in the same room and more space for social distancing.

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3. Technology 

The pandemic surely came in as a boom for the technology industry. 

Whereas previously people never thought of taking their work outside of offices, they have now been working from home with all necessary gadgets required for over two years. 

In the luxury hotel industry, technology will play a significant part in delivering a 5-star experience to customers.

  • Think about getting into an elevator at a hotel and calling out the floor number instead of pressing the button that might not have been sanitised. Hotels might also need to increase the number of elevators to allow for social distancing and convenience of their customers.

  • Luxury hotels will move to a key/card less entry for their rooms, this can be made possible via an application in the customer’s mobile phone which when tapped on the door will unlock it.

  • This application could also allow the customer to pre-set their room temperatures and even prepare a bath before they arrive in after a long day.

  • Check In/Check out, ordering room service and many more procedures could be automated with the help of technology in the future.

Even after the pandemic fades away slowly, the hotel industry will need to be cautious of any factors affecting consumers and avoiding a hotel becoming a virus hotspot. 

Reducing touch points for customers will be indeed one of the major challenges for the hotels. 

Hotel brands should now accept this reality and proactively work on shifting their work patterns to support enhanced cleanliness, social distancing and other ways that guests expect to travel and stay in the future.

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