COVID-19 is requiring hoteliers to re-evaluate how they do business and quickly adapt to what is essential for them.

High Touch versus High Tech

Until now ‘high touch’ has often had dominance over ‘high tech’ in service design thinking. However, our belief is that this paradigm will shift and require more active adoption of automation technologies regardless of whether managers, employees, and tourists want it or not.

According to a paper lately published by Daniel Slobodskoy et al (SocArXiv), automation technologies create effective and efficient social distancing, vital during viral epidemics to protect the health and well-being of both the employees and the guests. They also provide greater flexibility regarding the service capacity. Hotels would need to consider investments in such technologies; self-service kiosks, room service delivery robots, chatbots, face recognition technologies, voice activated technologies, etc.

Many hotels have not transitioned to cloud

It is all very well to suggest these new automation technologies, however it isn’t always so straight forward. To enable a new generation of contactless guest touch-points, hotels must already be working with a property management system that is running on the cloud, and surprisingly, many hotels are still not there yet.

According to hospitalitynet mobility is crucial during the times of the pandemic. Hoteliers are free to relocate from their actual workplace to remote and be able to administer reservations, rates, taxes, etc. providing the Property Management System is running on cloud-based technology. That means that there is no need to use a particular device and you may access all the information needed via smartphone or laptop.

The opportunity

If you already have a cloud Property Management System or thinking of migrating here are some of the things to think about;

  1. Introduce self-check in and check-out kiosks
  2. Implement contactless payment via smartphone
  3. Offer an opportunity to order anything via a mobile app
  4. Meet the guest’s needs via chat (e.g. upsell with booking reference number)

In these uncertain times, hoteliers must adopt new strategies to recover and produce the significant value that has been lost over the last months. This will likely involve the introduction of new automation technologies and refreshing the operating model by streamlining the way of working, while also protecting the health and safety of employees, guests, and partners.

Wieldy provides hotels with automation tools to help guests maintain social distancing and the peace of mind to book!

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