What Will the Post-Pandemic Hotel World Look Like?

By David Lund

Having been around for a while, I have seen the changes that have come as a result of major global events. The starkest example is our pre- and post-9/11 world. It showed us that the idea of getting on an airplane means we need to prove we do not have any threatening objects with us, like guns, knives and explosives, and we need to prove we are who we say we are. We even must prove we’re not a threat and that we’re on the right security list.

Talk about a big change in the way we travel—not to mention the changes in technology and investment.

I think the other side of this pandemic is going to see some profound changes in the traveling world and the hotel business. I am going to get my crystal ball out and make some predictions:

Prove you are healthy. Right now, it seems that testing—determining who has had the virus, who has the antibodies, who has a fever, etc.—is the path forward to reopening our world. Will we need to be tested before we travel? Will we need to prove we have had the vaccine or antibodies before we get on a plane in the future? How will hotels receive guests? Will we all need proof we are healthy before we can interact with one another? I can see this as a possibility. What will that mean for hotels, restaurants and bars?

Cleanliness scores. In the past two decades, we have seen the social media phenomenon of service scores and customer ranking of our hotel world that has had a major impact on how we are perceived by the public. I think going forward that the same applies to our cleanliness. The brand and hotels that have the highest cleanliness scores will be in higher demand by the public. I see a boom in the way this information is collected and used.

Cleaning methods. How we clean our rooms and facilities now is probably not what will work going forward. The public and our governments will demand higher and more transparent cleaning standards. The idea that the same cloth can be used to clean several surfaces in one room sends a chill down my back. Our industry must do better, and perceptions need to change. The brands and hotels with cleaner facilities win.

David Lund is The Hotel Financial Coach, a hospitality financial leadership pioneer. He has held positions as regional controller, corporate director and hotel manager with an international brand for more than 30 years. He authored an award-winning workshop on financial leadership and has delivered it and others to hundreds of hotel managers. He mentors hospitality leaders and speaks at hospitality associations and company events.

This is a contributed piece to Hotel Business, authored by an industry professional. The thoughts expressed are the perspective of the bylined individual.