The Covid pandemic19 hit the tourism sector hardest. We can only count on the recovery when the vaccine is found, and it will certainly take 2-3 years, if not longer, to return to the current global tourism trends. One thing is for sure - tourism will be different and will go through three phases.
And in several stages. The first phase is until a vaccine or cure is found, the second phase will be recovery, and after a few years, tourism will stabilize or return to the "old" branches, but I hope with new sustainable and healthy foundations - smarter, more sustainable, healthier and more humane tourism. Or tourism 2.0 - whatever that means.
In the first phase, at least until the vaccine is found, there will be tourism that contradicts itself - full of various restrictions, avoiding crowds and hats, and without contact and interaction with the hosts.
A new recategorization of the hotel, as well as all other standards, will follow. We can predict, speculate and get some frameworks, but at the moment no one still knows for sure exactly how and how hotels will work in the future and the new categorization.
But let’s turn to the current year, which is also the topic of the article. As we know, the Government of the Republic of Croatia has made a decision that in the third phase of easing the measures (May 11), the operation of catering facilities in accommodation facilities will be allowed, but only for accommodation users. Interestingly, formally hotels do not have a work ban, but of course in a situation where tourism has stopped and everyone is in self-isolation, it is logical that hotels are closed because they have no one to be open to.
When it comes to the reception, there should be no major changes, except for keeping a distance, but you can certainly digitize the whole process through a self-check in - that the guest does not need to log in through the reception and can unlock the room with a mobile phone or hotel application.
Some of the main challenges will certainly be the functioning of the restaurant. The buffet is certainly no longer an option, and significant changes are expected in this field. The question arises as to what measures and how the use of hotel pools will work, which is one of the critical places, ie where all guests bathe in one place. Also, deck chairs as well as beaches will definitely need to be disinfected. Some of the critical places are also fitness halls, elevators, congress halls, stair handrails… But what all the measures will be, you still need to see the instructions of epidemiologists.
Bernard Zenzerović, UPUHH: Everyone in the sector is aware that this season will be marked by a struggle for every tourist day
While waiting for the decisions and recommendations of the General Staff for the tourism sector, I talked to Bernard Zenzerović from the Association of Employers in the Hotel Industry of Croatia (UPUHH) on the topic of how hoteliers see functioning in this challenging age and what are their proposals to the General Staff.
"Access to guests will certainly change this season and adapt to new circumstances. Maximum sanitary standards and the necessary social distance will have to be ensured in all business segments. In coordination with its members, other national hotel organizations from Europe and colleagues from professional associations in Croatia, we have developed proposals for adapting operating procedures to the new situation."Zenzerovic points out.
The Croatian Tourism Association (HUT), which brings together leading hoteliers, including UPUHH, has already sent its proposals to the Ministry of Tourism, which will forward them to the CNIPH and the National Civil Protection Headquarters for consideration.
"I hope that in this way we will help the competent services of the Republic of Croatia, which must formally adopt a framework in which hotel operations will be organized, and we hereby invite them to do so as soon as possible so that everyone is ready to receive guests as soon as possible."
What is currently most important is certainly to bring recommendations and measures from the General Staff as soon as possible, so that tourism entrepreneurs, both hoteliers and all other accommodation providers and catering facilities, can prepare for the coming period as soon as possible and better.
We are pleased with the positive signals about the possibility of opening the borders of our emitting markets, as well as the image of Croatia as a "crown free" destination recognized by the media and our partners in EU markets, Zenzerovic points out and adds that everyone in the sector every tourist day. ”Everyone in the sector is aware that this season will be marked by a struggle for every tourist day. Our common goal should be how to ensure maximum safety for guests and employees in these specific conditions, but at the same time to provide guests with a positive experience and a pleasant holiday, given that this is the foundation of tourism."
On the other hand, we can certainly look at the measures introduced by world players - Marriott and Hilton.
Marriott has established a global cleanliness council to combat the hotel-level COVID-19 pandemic and further enhance the company’s efforts in the area.
Marriott's global cleanliness council is focused on developing the next level of global cleanliness standards in hospitality, norms and behaviors designed to minimize risk and increase safety for both consumers and Marriott associates, he points out. Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International and adds:
"We are grateful for the trust that our guests have shown us over the years. We want our guests to understand what we are doing today and planning in the near future in the areas of cleanliness, hygiene and social distance, so that when they walk through the door of one of our hotels, they know our commitment because health and safety is our priority. It is equally important to us that our associates know the changes we are making to preserve our health while serving our guests"
Marriott is introducing electrostatic sprays to disinfect surfaces throughout the hotel. Otherwise, electrostatic spraying technology uses the highest classification of disinfectants recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the treatment of known pathogens. In addition, the company is testing ultraviolet light technology to disinfect guest keys and devices shared by associates.
Marriott’s food safety program includes improved sanitation guidelines and training videos for all operating associates that include hygiene and disinfection procedures. In addition, the company is changing its operating practices for in-room dining and devising new approaches to buffets.
Learn more about Marriott security protocols HERE
Hilton CleanStay protocol
Hilton, on the other hand, will remove pen and paper from the rooms, and will supplement them with digital devices that will be available on request, will place wipes at the elevator, so that guests can clean the call button each time, as well as unlock rooms via mobile phone via smart locks.
Also Marriott and Hilton agreed to work with the Mayo clinic for all hotel facilities in America. Learn more about the Hilton CleanStay protocol HERE
Singapore was the first to introduce concrete measures for hotels, using SG Clean certification
Thus, the hotel must implement the “SG clean” program, which states, among other things, that it is necessary to ensure the process of measuring body temperature and monitoring COVID-19 symptoms in employees, have a ready procedure for resolving COVID-19 cases in case of infection, ensure a safe distance between at least one meter of tables and between seats.
In the prologue we bring the official protocol documents for hotels.