When it comes to hotels and operators, creativity and innovation go a long way. Because of the global pandemic situation, hotels need to evolve and that means finding new ways to provide the same level of service offered previously.
Learn from the best
What makes the service industry such an exciting segment is that you can always learn from those who have succeeded. There will always be new ideas, effective platforms and best practices that can be adopted once you see how they are able to overcome the challenges. Such ideas can then be implemented in your business with enhancements that could potentially improve your operations.
On to some revolutionary ideas
If you are a hotel operator, some of these ideas might just work for you especially in light of the new normal and when COVID-19 ends. Life and practices have changed as we know it. To stay afloat in this business, you need to change and innovate. Some of what has occurred in other parts of the world include:
- Scaling down events – Events held in hotels have already been toned down because of the pandemic. One hotel in the US is offering micro-wedding packages where you no longer need a large space and elaborate arrangements to get married. At the rate this is going, it is time to consider that events will no longer be as huge as they used to be. It is time to tone it down and it has to offer the right experience. This is also going to be cheaper too.
- Concierge – Social distancing is the main thing today. How can you provide good customer service while maintaining the SOPs. One that came up is Suga, a robot concierge which means you no longer need humans for service as well as personal butler services. This could be a costly investment but would be good in the long run.
- Quarantine-free hotel – This hotel was launched in February 2021 and is where business meetings can be carried out without the need for quarantine. At Connect@Changi, travelers will experience very much like a standard business trip where you get everything under one roof without needing to think about everything else.
- Quarantine Hotels – As another channel for revenue, hotels have been applying to become quarantine hotels for people traveling into a country. This is a common practice in Thailand and as quarantine becomes more mandatory, they provide a source of income at least.
How Hotels are Coping during pandemic
It is common for businesses to reinvent their models and to look for alternative ways of revenue when uncertainties happen. COVID-19 has brought about changes that no one could foresee and the service industry became one of the worst-hit industries.
Innovation for hoteliers
Hotel owners and operators were badly affected when the MCO (Movement Control Order) was enforced. With no traveling, hotels could not rent out their rooms and could only hope for the relaxing of the orders. Since conventional services are not possible, hotels have since moved on to new and more creative ways for revenue. While these new businesses seemed to be quite interesting, it goes to show just how bad hotel operators are being affected.
Work from Hotel
The whole WFH idea became a worldwide phenomenon. Hotels took it a step further when they offered Work From Hotel options where customers can rent the hotel rooms for a day (or two) and enjoy the hotel facilities including meals. This gives them an alternative to being stuck at home for long periods of time. Among the hotels that provided WFH were Shangri-La Hotel KL, The Chow Kit, New World PJ, Royale Chulan KL and others where you get to stay in the hotel, get some work done, then go home.
Hawker and Economical Food
Since no one will be parking at the hotels, some have converted the parking spaces into hawker centers. This includes the Duyong Marina & Resort, Terengganu, Hatten Hotel in Melaka and Hotel Penang. What makes these options so exciting is that they sell economical food and some even used their kitchen equipment too. Hatten Hotel even got their chefs to cook Penang favorite Char Koey Teow too.
- Car Wash – The Copthorne Hotel in Cameron Highlands recently organized a car-wash service for the people around there. It was envisioned to be a charity event which was held for 3 days between 9 and 11 February before the Chinese New Year celebration. The event was called the ‘Copthorne 126 Drive-Thru Car Wash’.
- Laundry – Hotels normally have their in-house laundry services. This was what G Hotel Gurney did that include a drive-through service. Basically, you can drop off your laundry and come back later to collect it. The Hyatt Regency Kinabalu also provided such services including delivery to customers.
- Future accommodation – For those who are yearning to get out once MCO ends, you can book the Mutiara Taman Negara for a knockdown price. This will surely be a great place to go once the lockdown ends.