Face coverings, request-only service: Travelers cite priorities for hotel stays
A new national survey shows that a number of improvements to health and sanitation protocol at US hotels would have considerable impact on guests’ comfort levels staying there, with the top three including face coverings for employees (87% a lot/some impact) and guests (85%), suspending daily housekeeping of rooms (86%), and utilizing technology to reduce direct contact (85%), are the top priorities among frequent travelers to staying in hotels during this pandemic. These priorities align with CDC recommendations distributed on behalf of the industry.
Other popular measures to increase a guest’s comfort level include adding transparent barriers at front desks, concierge or valet stations (82%), signage for washing hands, distancing and PPE (80%), temporarily closing amenities (77%) and floor markings to promote social distancing (77%).
The overwhelming majority of respondents indicate that these protocols would impact their comfort level, with eight out of ten (81%) frequent travelers responding that they feel comfortable staying in a hotel that has implemented the enhanced cleaning and safety protocols.
Among the key findings of travelers staying in hotels five or more nights per year:
• Cleanliness Is the Top Priority: Out of a list of nine options, frequent travelers most often chose cleanliness as the most important factor when determining their next hotel stay, and 81% of travelers are more comfortable staying at hotels now with enhanced protocols and standards implemented.
• Guests Prefer Housekeeping by Request Only: Nearly nine out of ten (88%) frequent travelers say that limiting in-room housekeeping to “by request only” would increase their comfort level. Nearly three-in-five (58%) guests do not want daily housekeeping; and 58% would not be comfortable with housekeeping staff entering their room without advance permission.
• The Use of Face Coverings is a Priority: The majority of guests (62%) are a lot more comfortable if hotels require face coverings and 66% of guests are a lot more comfortable if hotels require employees to wear face coverings and gloves.
The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the hotel industry as travel has slowed significantly throughout the last few months. The fall looks to be equally as challenging, with only one-third of frequent travelers (33%) expecting their next hotel stay to be within the next three months, 18 percent within three to six months, and 25 percent in 6-12 months.