Chalkmarks Hotel beds

BEDS are the biggest concern for travellers when it comes to hotels reopening this summer.

With hotel rooms having numerous touch points such as door-handles, taps, bedding and cushions, guests are worried about catching the coronavirus, the next time they check-in.

A hospitality report by McKinsey revealed that 43 per cent of travellers are less worried about the swimming pool or the spa than being in the room and especially sleeping in the bed.

To make travellers feel more comfortable 56 per cent of them said they would like to see enhanced room cleaning, 50 per cent want visible cues such as door seals to show cleaning has taken place and 49 per cent want to be offered PPE and have assurances their room has been empty for 72 hours between guests, according to analyst Margaux Constantin.

Other requests include 41 per cent want to be able to control the television from their mobile phones, 36 per cent to have no housekeeping visits and 33 per cent want in-room amenities taken away.

Speaking at the International Tourism and Investment Conference online summit this week, she said: “What makes them anxious is not the check-in, not the restaurant, it’s not the pool or the even spa but it’s their room. Then within the room its particularly staying in the bed. That is the highest driver of anxiety.

“What will make travellers much more comfortable for travel is of course, having visible cues that things have been cleaned. This whole theatre of cleanliness is very important for hotels, also for airlines and other parts of the value chain.

“People want to have this confidence that things have happened. Visible cues are more important that whatever else happens.”

While the health and safety of guests and staff is central to hotels reopening, Ben Lock from Endelman, which tracks global trust trends, said that “brands needs to talk with and not at” people.

He said: “As the tourism sector gradually opens up, what people need is credible and constant information to ensure they are not worried about their safety. Vacuums create unease and therefore distrust. And frankly right now trust is our most valuable currency.

“Brands need to talk with, not at. And if you’re telling people about safety or commitment to tackling their problem, that’s not enough. I want you to answer the questions I’ve got based on my concerns around my community, my family and me.”

Edmund Bartlett, Tourism Minister Jamaica, called on the travel industry to agree on global standards on social distancing, sanitising, technology and screening.

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