More than two years since the pandemic hit the entire world, no industry or business sector has been left untouched by the cascading impacts of lockdowns, restrictions on movement, travel and flight bans, and more. However, amidst all that gloom, there was opportunity too as we evolved to embrace change and transformation. Particularly so in the hospitality business.
COVID-19 has forced the hospitality industry into reconfiguring hotel operations. Even before the emergence of Omicron, the hospitality industry was evolving in response to COVID-19. With more than five million lives lost to the virus since 2020 and billions more affected in different ways, pandemic-induced changes in guest behaviour have forever altered the hotel business.
People who travel for pleasure want to get back to doing so. But this will imply a new normal. Even though domestic travel has surged, international travel and business travel are still impacted, given the pandemic-related border restrictions and concerns about health and safety.
With hope towards the future as we emerge from the pandemic, 2022 will be the year hospitality can look forward to in shaping its future rather than just grinding through the present and merely surviving. The new normal will be different and evolving. However, that does not mean going back to the conditions that prevailed in 2019.
During the COVID-19 global health crisis, one area that has seen tremendous growth is digitisation, meaning everything from online customer service to remote working to supply chain reinvention to the use of digital key technology. These practices have resulted in minimising – if not eliminating altogether –the practice of handing over access control credentials and oftentimes the need for human interaction. This has drastically improved hospitality operations and guest safety as it not only eliminates the risk associated with potential exposure to COVID-19 but also gives hospitality operators and managers an easier way to manage access. Giving guests the ability to manage their full stay (check-in, check-out, extending a stay, accessing the gym, self-service locker) from their smartphone, for example, allows them full control and improves their experience.
There’s no going back.
The great acceleration in the use of technology, digitisation, and new safety guidelines for hospitality businesses will continue beyond the pandemic. If hotels and the like have not yet incorporated electronic access, with the capability of offering smartphone access or digital keys, they should do so now. The benefits are endless:
- Combine easy access with a secure digital key technology to access guest rooms, meeting rooms, and floors via elevators using a smartphone.
- Offer a contactless guest experience that includes mobile check-in and check-out.
- Smart guestrooms offer personalised modern comfort (lights, heating, and air conditioning) through in-room technology integrations.
- Integrations with unified property management systems deliver greater automation and process optimisation from the guestroom and guest services doors to the back-of-house.
Protecting individuals and assets is a unique challenge for every hospitality business today across luxury to midscale hotels, independent and large chain hotels, cruise ships, and convention and conference hotels.
With SALTO smart access technology, hotels can guarantee safety for guests, visitors, and staff, and be best prepared to face today’s unique security challenges. SALTO has achieved reliable security thanks to flexible and robust integration capabilities with third-party hardware and software providers. Together we have created a security ecosystem that provides safe, convenient, and seamless guest access throughout the property.
SALTO provides data on real-world guest and staff movement patterns, delivering valuable intelligence to drive smarter security protocols and improve overall access flow.
With SALTO hospitality solutions, you can enable guest safety and service innovations creating value-added opportunities to drive business for your hotel, enhance the guest journey, and reconfigure hotel operations.