How will coronavirus change our hotel stays: the hospitality new normal — TripActions Community

How will coronavirus change our hotel stays: the hospitality new normal

A burning topic for travel managers: will suppliers be operating at agreed minimum standards?

This is a glimpse of hotels' new safety protocols and how our experience as guests may change: temperature checks upon guests' arrivals, check-ins and check-outs performed virtually, with no human-to-human contact, elevator rides limited to one guest per car, discontinued room service, restaurant, bar and complimentary coffee station closed indefinitely... Downsizing the contents of guest rooms (no mini bar, no excess hangers, no excess linens, extra pillows out), so there are fewer opportunities for germs to spread, signing up for a specific gym slot, in-room exercise equipment options...

And obviously the question of a cleanliness procedure with mentions of deep cleaning, rooms being left vacant for a full 24 hours after a guest checks out, housekeeping preparing the room for the next guests while wearing appropriate PPE, hotels to ensure a room remains empty a full two to three days between guests...

Few insights from Four Seasons, Hilton for example:

Marriott has announced the launch of a Global Cleanliness Council

Travel Managers: have you spoken to your hotel partners?


  • WOW! What a difference this will be. As a semi-germaphobe, I'm glad to see these changes made because as the first article stated, duvets should always have been cleaned every time, gyms are rarely sanitized, and we all know that hotels and planes are never cleaned to the extent they should be. Now it can be a matter of life/death/health/illness.

    I admit signing up for a gym time would be inconvenient. What if I wake up early? I would end up just working out in the room or outside. Some hotels may feel like the gym may not be worth the perk.

  • Thanks for sharing these stories @Aurelie_Krau. These types of actions and travelers' confidence in them will be a huge driver in their success in the coming months. If I were a supplier I'd be looking into getting third-party proof (with specific data points) of the efficacy of my cleaning/sanitation practices.

  • For travel managers, I think it is also important to start creating a culture of individual ownership and support their traveling employees in that mission. While hotels might implement more thorough cleaning measures, the individual traveler should be equipped to clean their own space whether it's wiping down handles and remotes or traveling with vitamins that keep their immune systems strong. Travel managers can teach employees about best practices when arriving in a new space and even arm them with the equipment needed.

  • Oh yes, I like this @samantha11 You are right, it may be that travel managers need to ensure that travelers are armed with not just their laptop, but other essentials like monthly shipments of disinfectant wipes (or allow for reimbursements) and immune-boosting options.

    A new Best Practices document to ensure everyone is cleaning properly on their own and not relying on hotel/plane staff is important.

    I've been wiping down my hotel room and airplane seat, headrest, and lap tray for years and I've even had people make fun of me for doing it. NO MORE! ha!

  • Aurelie_KrauAurelie_Krau admin
    edited April 2020

    Indeed, some additional guidelines are needed for travelers, as well as maintaining the dialogue and touch points with all suppliers is critical for travel managers in these times. Indeed @Kate Kirby , I'd encourage travel managers to discuss "agreed minimum standards" with their hoteliers, airlines and ground transportation partners.

    To your point @WorkWellPlayMore it is important, as a travel manager, that you expect and *can* rely on a minimum standard from your suppliers - this needs to be handled as a partnership. This will contribute to building confidence in traveling. Transparency matters. On the top of that, up to each individual if they want to bring additional cleaning essentials indeed. Not all travelers are going to have the same reaction - this is why a constant engagement with travelers is critical as well.

    In some markets, there are some ongoing discussions around a cleanliness standard for hotels. Let's see how that goes.

  • I like that thought of a partnership and agreed minimum standards. And you are right, it will be up to the individual to implement those healthy hygiene protocols as well. The travel managers can provide best practices, but they can't do the cleaning for them.

  • The good point is that we can see more and more hoteliers sharing their will to commit to some cleanliness protocols. I reckon next step is to work all together, as an industry, in true partnership, to make it happen.

  • This is very informative. The issues surrounding the hotel and motel industry is a long list. Hotels need to invest in the proper cleaning products that will sterilize the room of germs left by the previous guest(s). The next step is that hotels need to invest the time to properly train their managers and staff in how to properly sterilize the room and how to use the chemicals properly. Some organizations aren't even aware of what the kill times are for the chemicals their housekeeping staff uses, and a lot of times they aren't going by those guidelines in the past due to turnover time. Another issue is the proper sterilizing and cleaning of the linens in the room. Not all hotels or motels have their own laundry service, and along with the linens on the bed, staff needs to also be aware of the sterilization of the curtains, shower curtain, and all other linens in the room. The hospitality industry will all need to adapt to this thinking going forward if we are going to take a serious approach to tackling this disease.

  • Exactly @Domgm2288 this is why there is ongoing discussion to establish new industrywide hotel cleaning standards. Let's see what such initiatives will bring and if/what standard protocols will be announced, including training staff.

    Next step would be to ensure that hotels comply with standards for example.

    Also, what is going to be critical, is how this will be reflected at Point of Sale, in booking tools -so that travelers can make informed decisions.

    Lot's to follow!

  • We saw the hotel industry make a major shift when bedbugs became rampant and now seem to be more or less under control. There will be a learning curve, but I believe it can happen. What I don't know is how they will push the costs onto consumers. This is going to greatly increase the cost of each stay and they will need to pay for it somehow, whether that is taking away ancillary services (mini-bar, free snacks and newspapers, etc.) or by adding on a surcharge.

    Also, I wonder how this will impact AirBnBs, which I regularly stay in for business in expensive cities like Boston. How will a host be able to exhibit their cleanliness standards?

  • And now, Airbnb to establish new cleaning protocols.

    According to the article, it is an optional cleaning protocol for hosts, with hosts who opt-in required to wait a minimum of 24 hours between bookings at all its properties to limit possible coronavirus transmissions. The protocol will offer detailed guidance on how to keep rooms clean during the coronavirus pandemic, and forms part of a broader cleanliness drive it calls its "enhanced cleaning initiative."

    More to be expected soon.

  • To your point on pricing, @WorkWellPlayMore I'd suggest to see the bigger picture with a procurement bias: many corporations (mid-sized and large accounts) have contracts in place with hoteliers partners. I'd suggest to maintain a constant dialogue with them to understand how they will be impacted -and on what levels.

    At Festive Road (and actually several professionals have raised the question in the industry) we tend to ask: is the hotel RFP here to stay? Do you need an RFP? Is it the beginning of general dynamic fares vs. negotiated fares? This has to be considered as part of a travel management strategy.

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