By the end of 2019, we came across a nameless virus, and in less than three months, the then-nameless virus has become a deadly disease — COVID-19 and has been labelled a pandemic by WHO.
It has claimed over 10000 lives and has affected the lives of people abysmally. Countries and regions around the world are taking the necessary measures; whether it’s about citywide lockdowns or mass quarantines or sweeping travel and business restrictions.
The world economy has been affected on a large-scale. The health and safety in hospitality industry is compromised amid this COVID-19 outbreak, resulting hotel businesses in having a tough time. Some hotels are even going bankrupt due to low business and are looking for ways to continue their business.
While it is important to keep our business up and running, we would also like to let you all know that what is more important is staying safe and staying aware of this situation.
In this article, we would like to share some information that would help you understand this situation better.
Preventive Measures Amid Coronavirus Pandemic For Hotels
In this critical time, your hotel must ensure it has an efficient and well developed prevention plan in place – the health and safety hazards in hotels cannot be ignored. Also, the plan must be communicated to the employees and guests without making them panic.
Before jumping right into what could be done to make your hotel or even workplace COVID-19 ready, let’s first understand how it spreads.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease and this is how it spreads:
When an infected person coughs or exhales they release droplets of fluid containing virus particles
The droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects
When people touch those surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth, the virus enters the body
Another scenario is:
If someone is standing within one meter of a COVID-19 infected person
The infected person coughs or exhales and releases droplets of fluid
The person standing next to him/her breaths in droplets coughed out
Keeping these scenarios in mind, you have to prepare or develop the prevention plan in order to ensure that not just your business but also your employees and guests are safe and sound.
Before going ahead with your prevention plan you must ensure that you are communicating well with your existing guests and employees about it. Let your guests know about all the necessary steps you are going to take in order to ensure your guests feel they are safe.
In terms of employees, train them well on every aspect, provide them with guidelines, to make sure every single process is aligned.
Also, make sure none of your staff or even you as a hotelier is being rude to any of the guests. It’s a very critical situation, and you have to have empathy towards your guests.
Maintain A Clean And Hygienic Atmosphere
It is the most effective way to stay away from COVID-19. It doesn’t matter what the situations are, you have to ensure that your hotel (each and every corner) is clean.
Desks, Beds, tables, seating, telephones, intercoms etc need to be wiped with disinfectant regularly. That’s not all, you all must ensure that you are timely spraying disinfectant.
Furthermore, place hand sanitisers in prominent places around the hotel. Never let your hotel run out of sanitisers — make sure the dispensers are regularly refilled.
Make sure you provide face masks and/or paper tissues to your employees as well as your guests. Also, let them know about the closed bins for hygienically disposing of them.
Spread awareness — place informative posters regarding the preventive measures in prominent places in your hotel.
Word to the wise: If you find any employee even with symptoms like mild cough or a low-grade fever (37.3 C or more), ask them to stay home and not to come to work.
Reassure Your Guests (Both Existing & Potential)
As we all know how abysmally this pandemic has affected the hotel industry, it is important for hotels (irrespective of sizes) to ensure that they are reaching out to their guests and letting them know about all the preventive measures that have been taken.
Whether it’s your social media pages or website or even via email, spread the message that you are always there by your guests and are ready to take every possible step to help them through this crucial phase.
Word to wise: Making a profit shouldn’t be your priority at this point of time. Rather, you should focus on delivering a good guest experience and your chances of winning in the long run are much higher.
Waiving off cancellation fees
May be, offer an extra night if the guest doesn’t get any commute to travel back
Provide some other offers
It’s not about what strategies your competitors are using to up their sales, but it’s about what you are doing to make sure your guests are happy, safe and sound.
“A business that focuses more on customers is more likely to scale than the ones focusing on competitors. Be a support system for your guests!”
An All-Round System To Take Care Of Your Business
While this Coronavirus continues to impact your hotel business, you cannot afford to invest in a lot of things such as different booking channels. This is where you need to focus on driving direct bookings.
Provide perks to guests who book directly with you. Make sure your website and your social media platforms are communicating the same.
Have a robust web booking engine that would allow you to drive more reservations directly from your website as well as your Facebook page.
Furthermore, you do your in-depth research on the impact and how it is affecting the occupancy in different other locations. Have a plan in place and then execute it in a way that it not only stabilises your hotel business, but also makes sure that your guests are safe and sound
Word To The Wise: This is a very crucial phase, not only for businesses but also for every single person in this world. Have empathy — understand the feelings and situations of the person in front of you.
You might want to focus more on driving the cash flow on your business; however, you should focus more on helping your guests (both existing and potential). Play the marathon game, rather than the sprint!
While We Have Covered How To Make Your Hotel COVID-19 Ready, Let Us Also Give You Some Additional Information On The Myths That Are Floating Around The Internet.
Let’s Bust Some Myths
As pandemic coronavirus continues to infect people around the world, rumours and misinformation have started to spread like wildfire on the internet. Therefore, we urge people not to trust any random information on the internet or WhatsApp.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed some of the myths that every one of us should know about.
The COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in all areas. It doesn’t matter whether the climate is hot or cold, the virus can still do the same amount of harm. Do not believe if someone says the effect will decrease with the emergence of summer
Another myth that has been floating is “Taking a hot bath will prevent you from catching COVID-19”. No, It will not!
The COVID-19 CAN be transmitted through mosquito bites is another myth. According to WHO, there no reports as of now that shows that it could be transmitted by mosquitoes
Hand dryers are also not effective in preventing you from the new coronavirus
Another myth is that UV disinfection lamps can prevent coronavirus. Rather it is advised not to use any UV lamp as it would end up causing skin irritation (might be severe irritation)
Being a respiratory disease, it spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Therefore, you must ensure that you are maintaining daily hygiene. Clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub, sanitiser or washing them with soap and water.
Several other myths have come up amid this pandemic, and to know more about them, you can click here and read the in-depth article released by the World Health Organisation.