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Technology Digital drive


In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, hoteliers are ramping up their hygiene protocols and enhancing health and safety culture. The growing need to engage digitally with guests to curb the spread of the virus is also changing working patterns and accelerating the digitalisation of revenue management, recruitment and staff interactions. Jim Banks speaks to Arielle Quick, chief continent lodging services officer at Marriott; Carla Milovanov, senior vice-president for global technology and customer services at Accor; and Julia Vander Ploeg, global head of digital and technology at Hyatt, about how technology is reshaping the way hotels operate.


F


or the few old-school hoteliers still harbouring an apathetic attitude towards technology, Covid-19 must have been a tough pill to


swallow. At a time of social distancing and sanitiser, where personal interactions are being kept to a minimum, the traditional virtues of meet and greet feel somewhat obsolete. Not that personalisation has been abandoned. Far from it. Instead, more hoteliers across Europe are now leveraging the power of technology to help them cope with the unique demands of the pandemic.


When Covid hit, hotels were faced with the prospect of closing their doors – at least temporarily – and then reopening them in a market characterised by limited


travel, lower occupancy rates and restrictions on social interactions. There could be no conditions more challenging to the hospitality sector, but hotels have moved with speed and agility to remap guest journeys and employee work patterns, and to leverage technology to deliver the best possible service in challenging times.


“Every step along the guest journey has been impacted by Covid-19,” remarks Carla Milovanov, senior vice-president for global technology and customer services at Accor: “We can think of the digital keys that we’re developing now, but also self- service check-in solutions, food orders and payments, and hybrid meeting solutions.”


39.4°C


Hotel Management International / www.hmi-online.com


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art_inside/Shutterstock.com


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