Obviously, sanitation has taken precedent through the COVID-19 pandemic, but are hotel companies are paying enough attention to the growing importance of convenience?
You know what I never want to have to do again once I return to regular business travel? Wander around to find a nearby drug store or convenience store to get essentials and snacks that I neglected to pack.
I never want to have to search for food or toothpaste. I also don’t want to have to go down to the front desk only to find an unmanned skeleton of a store with the worst versions of all the things I need.
My intention here isn’t to just whine about my own deficiencies as a traveler, but to underscore what would be a behavioral change coming out of the pandemic. Travelers’ desire for convenience and to have exactly what they need right in front of them will be at an all-time high. Meanwhile, the willingness to bounce around in search of those essentials will be at an all-time low.
How exactly can hotels address this, especially in a period of low staffing in which everyone is working on a limited-service model?
You could probably have more proactive communication pre-stay—especially if the number of guests on-property are relatively low. Do what you can to learn what guests’ needs and wants are beforehand and have them in the room so they don’t have to go down the block for some potato chips or whatever else they’d want.
Hotels can also be more willing to provide those necessities. I would be over the moon if every guestroom I stayed in had a small tube of toothpaste in it.
I know this isn’t exactly a change in how hotels already operate, but it’s likely this will be less of an opportunity for surprise and delight than just general traveler expectation.
The hotel that I absolutely know will give me the most comfortable and safe travel cocoon while I’m on the road is the hotel I’ll want to stay at.
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