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Guest amenities


in a pandemic Personalisation


As Covid-19 continues to plague the hospitality sector it’s no secret that the human aspect of guest interactions is under threat. How, then, can hotels facilitate meaningful relationships with guests in an age of sanitiser and social distancing? And what does it mean to deliver a personalised service during these uncertain times? Abi Millar speaks to Gonzalo Carpintero, vice-president of operations for EMEA and head of meeting and event transformation at Radisson Hotel Group and Rohit Chadra, CMO of citizenM, about how hotels can connect with guests and deliver a tailored experience while keeping a safe physical distance.


ince the start of the pandemic, we have all had to get used to social distancing regulations, masks and increased hand sanitising, among other safety measures. While few of us begrudge these requirements, many people have adopted them with a heavy heart. The everyday interactions we have with those around us – the cashier in the supermarket, the friend we bump into in the street – have lost something very human. This is a challenge for the hospitality sector, which prides itself on offering a personal touch. After all, the very notion of the word ‘hospitality’ derived from the Latin hospes, meaning host, guest or stranger, is built on a warmth and conviviality. Can guests truly feel looked after if you’re speaking to them through a Perspex screen? Is technology a true replacement for concierge services?


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Hotels have had to work out how to create, and maintain, meaningful relationships with guests at a time when normal modes of connection just aren’t possible. Gonzalo Carpintero, vice-president of operations for EMEA and head of meeting and event transformation at Radisson Hotel Group (RHG), thinks the industry has a tendency to underestimate guests’ empathy when it comes to these unusual challenges. “The customer reacts better than expected to an abnormal situation if you explain it correctly,” he says. “If you say that they will not be able to enjoy the minibar because it’s forbidden due to Covid standards, and that they will not find additional garments in the room – all things we do for their safety and security – they will understand. Explaining and anticipating is the best way to ensure the guest isn’t misled.”


Hotel Management International / www.hmi-online.com


ann131313.s/Shutterstock.com


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