World Panel
Viewpoint19 May 2020

Are there any quick-fix IT solutions for hotels in the post-COVID new normal?

Information Technology

— 12 experts shared their view

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Floor Bleeker, CIO MEA and Global Accor Strategic Programs
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Ian Millar
Professor at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

The main things that could or should be done are. 1: guest communication platforms, either a Whats App for business or a dedicated platform, guest's communication should be digital and remove the need to go to the reception or concierge. 2: Link this to QR codes. Remove all paper menus, wine lists, in-room breakfast, and in-room compendiums and replace them with QR codes linked to digital menus for guest ordering. Potentially even removing guest amenities in the room (hairdryer, bathroom amenities, shoe cleaning kit, sewing kit, iron and ironing board, minibar items, paper and pen, coffee machine, magazines, shoehorn, slippers, bathroom scales) and then request the guest asks for them in the communication platform or again QR code to request. Guests will be worried about touching things other guests could have potentially touched, housekeeping will have new procedures in place and a lot more to do as well. By removing these items by default but still allowing the guests to request may be a stop-gap for the moment. 3: Finally encourage or insist on contactless payments. This could be the suspension of sending items to the room bill from the bar or restaurant and asking guests to pay direct on the spot. Would save on a lot of contact and paper and pen signing.

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