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The future of hotels: how the pandemic might change everything

Photo: Unsplash
Photo: Unsplash

We can’t deny that the pandemic has completely changed the service and hotel industries throughout the province, the country, and the whole world. Hospitality services everywhere are feeling lost and disoriented as they try to adjust to the sanitary precautions put in place by the government. Social distancing, hand sanitizer everywhere, frequent room cleaning, waiting periods between reservations, removal of miscellaneous items from the rooms… 

Hotels have to double their efforts to manage the situation; they don’t have a choice if they want to survive this crisis. Available staff is lacking, and they’re trying to reorganize the way they’re operating in order to fit the guidelines. Some hotels even have to limit the amount of available rooms in order to keep their head afloat. 

This might seem overwhelming, but this upheaval could lead to some positive, permanent changes in the hotel industry that could impact client experience on the long term - hopefully for the best. 

Here are a few aspects of the hotel experience that we think might be on the brink of a transformation. 

  • The self-service era

Check-in terminals allowing clients to self-register are starting to pop up here and there through various stores and tourist attractions, and this practice should gain in popularity in the next few years. 

This way of functioning could help manage the lack of workforce that many establishments are currently facing, and could also allow clients to gain more autonomy. We could worry about human contact disappearing - after all, it’s a crucial aspect of hospitality - but this new way of functioning could motivate hotels to add new services in order to establish a connection and better loyalty with their customers.

  • Everybody naked

It’s going to take a while before the threat of the pandemic disappears completely. In a couple years, when Covid is behind us for good, we’ll have to consider the health risks that still loom over us, and the changes to make in order to stop the spread of germs and diseases. We certainly don’t want to go through another pandemic like this again. 

One of the first elements that could go through important changes is bed linens and accessories found in hotel rooms. Throw pillows and blankets, which are common in the majority of hotels, could disappear forever. Think about it: when you rent a room, don’t you avoid touching the decorative elements on your bed? They’re there for aesthetic reasons, but they don’t have a real purpose, and can quickly become the main source of germs in your environment. 

Keeping beds more naked could stop the spread of bacteria, which would be beneficial for both the hotel and its clients. 

  • The future of remote working

Remote working is there to stay. It’s more obvious than ever, and hotels could easily profit from this new way of working. How? By investing in work nooks for customers: better desk chairs, faster wifi connection, work spaces set up with a view, special offers for reservations on a longer basis (which we’re already seeing here and there!)... These elements could bring in a new clientele that wishes to escape from their home for a bit. 

Conventions and conferences could also grow in frequency, as many work teams will want to reunite by organizing team meetings. Remote working can be lonely - which is why the demand for group reservations could increase in the future. Investing in spaces more adapted for bigger groups could be a leading advantage for hotels. 

What do you think will appear - or disappear - in hotel establishments in the next few months?

Laurie Dumas-Ruel

Laurie Dumas-Ruel is the web editor for Hotelleriejobs as well as a fiction writer in her free time. She's worked in food service alongside tourists for years and loves to explore the different ways in which human resources and the food service, hotel and tourism industries intertwine.