Company insight

Limiting touchpoints while keeping the personal touch

Covid-19 forced a new reality on hotels. An industry known for personalised, face-to-face service is now at a crossroads, needing to adhere to new safety protocols while also creating a high-touch experience without the ‘touch’. Can hotels keep the warm atmosphere in this new sterile environment? David Millili, CEO of Angie Hospitality, explains how this is possible.

uest and employee safety and health remain top priorities for hoteliers around the globe. As people cautiously venture back into the world of travel, hotels are updating protocols and training staff as the first steps in a recovery plan that ensures guests will feel comfortable throughout their journey. Need a strong reference for best practices? 81% of travellers say they would prefer to stay in a hotel that has implemented the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s (AHLA) safe stay protocols.


Pre-arrival and check-in The first touchpoint often happens before guests even book a room. Let them know what to expect by updating websites and listings to reflect the latest Covid-19 policies and cleaning standards. A recent study by the AHLA found that 70% of guests want to hear what measures hotels are taking to promote safety. If your hotel offers contactless technology for check-in, cleaning or booking amenities, a confirmation email is a great place to convey what’s available. Checking in can be handled digitally with mobile check-in and digital key cards or self-service kiosks. While the pandemic has created some new hurdles, this is a great opportunity to redevelop processes for efficiency and a better experience. Clearly marked distancing guidelines and easily digestible visual cues for cleaning protocols and Covid prevention plans can help protect guests and staff. Cleaning robots, air purifiers and electrostatic sprayers can also be used to boost sanitation and help busy staff tackle extra duties.

In-room experience

Given that guests may be spending more time in their rooms due to health concerns

Hotel Management International /

Checking in once meant an in-person interaction at the front desk, an exchange of credit cards, pens, hotel keys and information. Today, this can be handled digitally with mobile check-in or self-service kiosks.

in shared spaces, think about ways to make their experience more comfortable and personalised. Consider contactless technology to permit guests to change the lighting, lower the temperature or turn on the TV without touching a switch. Artificial intelligence and voice-activated devices can also enhance the in-room experience and ease the burden of already stretched staff by taking care of common requests. Guests can place an order via a personal concierge or app and have towels and room service delivered to their doors, all without physical contact. If tech upgrades seem out of reach, there are options for subscription pricing models to enable getting the tech now without upfront costs.

Amenities and common areas Reinventing ways to serve your guests can keep the hotel experience fresh. Conference rooms, gyms, pools and outdoor spaces can still be used in a contactless or socially distanced way. A great option many hotels are starting to adopt is allowing guests to book an hour at the pool or gym. Instead of closing or trying to enforce distancing, each

guest gets a set amount of time before the space is cleaned for the next visitor. For outside areas, repurpose plants or screens as dividers between restaurant seating for more privacy and protection. Additionally for dining, offer takeaway options for both guests and local residents. Don’t forget to provide QR code access to online menus, along with contactless payment options.


Consider using digital options to eliminate dropping by the front desk for checking out. Also, be sure to email a post-stay survey to learn more about the experience and offer an incentive to return. A kind note or small gesture can make a big difference. Each touchpoint can be memorable and safe if the right adjustments are made. With technology, updated cleaning and proper distancing, a strong programme can be created now to boost traveller confidence and to prepare for occupancy to increase as the industry recovers. ● 31

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