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Customer Expectations for Hospitality in 2021

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NATIONAL REPORT—At the moment, there is a lot that seems uncertain for the hospitality industry. The coronavirus pandemic has drastically shifted the way resorts and airlines operate. Over the next year, we can anticipate further adjustments—especially when it comes to consumer behavior. The entire experience may change completely.

Here’s what we should expect to see next year.

1. Increased Cleanliness Standards

All industries will need to follow strict cleanliness guidelines for the foreseeable future—hospitality or otherwise. While it is up to guests to practice decent hygiene, the company must also ensure employees maintain a sanitized environment. Hotels need to create their own plans. This way, they can consider individual factors like staff size and room capacity.

As you formulate your approach, it is wise to keep your employees always informed. They will need time to learn how to implement new processes. Additionally, you will want to reconsider current procedures. For example, you may need to allow for a broader window between check-ins and check-outs. An extra hour or two can ensure your staff takes the proper measures to clean each room thoroughly.

If you have not already built a plan, start now. While information always changes, it is necessary to implement core methods as soon as possible.

2. Luxurious Relaxation Options

Because this situation has been stressful for many people, it is smart to assume that next year should involve a need for relaxation. Those who want to book vacations will not hesitate to splurge on luxurious experiences, as well as rejuvenation and peace. We can also expect to see guests spend more money on locations that highlight eco-friendly initiatives. The sustainability trend will not fall off any time soon.

If you already offer specific packages, like spa treatments, you can modify them to create a safer atmosphere for guests and staff. For instance, you could set up partitions between chairs and require staff to wear masks and gloves. You can also change your workout classes so there is more space between participants. It will not be easy to navigate the changes, but it’s possible.

3. Minimal Human Contact

Here is a major factor that will be at play next year. Most guests will desire limited interactions with staff to protect all individuals. The hospitality industry has already taken steps to streamline specific encounters through technology. That said, if you have not joined the bandwagon, it is time to do so.

You may need to move check-ins and check-outs to a kiosk. If you cannot make that transition, it’s essential to provide a way for your guests to register online before they arrive. Then, they will be able to cut down on time spent with others. This effort also clears up lobby space. In any case, you will need to provide hand sanitizer and disposable wipes throughout every area.

Similarly, with the rise of food and grocery delivery, guests will be on the hunt for different food options. They will likely shy away from buffets, so it is essential to streamline your room service methods. Each order should come with rerolled silverware. They may also expect healthier ingredients overall. If you can emphasize your hotel’s efforts, you will be able to generate more business.

4. More Exclusive Experiences

The hospitality industry will have to experiment with capacity over the next few months. As a result, some hoteliers may view this moment to create a more exclusive experience. There is an opportunity for individualized events when only a handful of guests can enter an area at once. Most large resorts and chain hotels offer fun group activities—but not much compares to a private afternoon at the pool.

Try to come up with ways to capitalize on these personal touches. The most popular destinations worldwide provide a unique atmosphere that makes guests feel like they have the entire place to themselves.

We Will See These Trends Next Year

As time progresses, we can expect to see these adjustments across the hospitality industry. It is up to hoteliers to adhere to these standards so they’re aligned with their guests’ desires.

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