People are traveling again, taking long-awaited trips after a year of stay-at-home guidelines. The spike in travel was evident over the holidays in December and then again during winter and spring breaks, and the rise in bookings for this summer. Americans are back on the move with hotels and resorts rolling out the welcome mat with best-in-class service and COVID-focused safety measures. Operators want guests to feel safe and eager to keep returning now that a sense of normalcy has begun to return – even while precautions are still quite prevalent.
Walk into any hotel or resort and you immediately experience a staff eager to please and ready to ensure that guests are comfortable with the measures they have put into place to mitigate the risk of COVID infections as much as possible. It begins with the lobby and mobile check-ins and check-outs and mask/face covering requirements for staff at all times and for guests while indoors in common areas and moving around outdoors.
Other COVID-19 safety measures include:
- Implementation of vigorous safety and cleanliness protocols – from electrostatic sprayers to hospital-grade products
- More frequent cleaning of public spaces and guestroom surfaces
- Mandatory staff training to ensure social distancing, compliance with safe dining practices as determined by local authorities
- The availability of hand sanitization stations at key locations throughout the property
- Enhanced food safety and hygiene protocols
- Staff and guest temperature checks
- Removal of certain high-touch items from guestrooms
- Limiting the number of diners at restaurants throughout the property
- Enforcing social distance requirements between diners at restaurants (social distancing signage is placed throughout the property)
- Limiting the number of guests in fitness centers and/or making available outdoor exercising activities
- Elevator spacing and revised maximum capacity guidelines
- Knock-and-go contactless room service
In addition, at some hotels and resorts, guests receive individual sanitation kits, with hand sanitizer, face masks, and cleaning wipes, to use during their stays. Also, some hotels and resorts are providing complimentary on-premises COVID-19 testing (either rapid antigen or RT-PCR tests, which are approved for consumer use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines). Hotels and resorts are making every effort to welcome back guests and to make their experience as enjoyable and safe as possible.