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Consumers Eager to Stay at Covid-Scrubbed Hotels

A new study highlights what consumers expect from hotels: increased cleaning and contactless technology

Following months of stay-at-home orders that, in many locations, remain in place, consumers are eager to get out and travel if they can get some assurances, according to a new survey from Oracle and Skift.

The report found that just over half (51 percent) of people surveyed in both North and Latin America plan to book trips in the next six months, while only 38 percent of those in Asia-Pacific and Europe are planning getaways. People, no matter where they live, however, are opting to stay closer to home with driving distance in focus (47 percent) or with a domestic trip (44 percent) being favored. With so much uncertainty ahead, consumers are also demanding flexible cancellation and refund policies (76 percent) and are more open to considering hotels offering discounted rates (65 percent).

Consumers’ willingness to travel also comes with come warnings for hotels when it comes to advancements in cleaning and technology. In response, 70 percent of hotels already are or are planning to adopt contactless technology for check-in, food ordering, concierge services and more. Ninety percent have or are planning to also increase cleaning and disinfecting frequency and training for staff on these procedures and safer guest interactions (89 percent).

“As the hospitality industry turns a corner on the road to recovery, technology will be critical to protecting travelers and workers alike,” said Alex Alt, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Hospitality. “Safety rightly remains consumers’ top priority when they consider traveling, and the hospitality industry is doubling down on technology to facilitate social distancing and reduce face to face interaction for guests’ protection.”

The global study, A Data-Driven Look at Hospitality’s Recovery, transacted with 4,600 consumers and 1,800 hotel executives’ attitudes and outlook on travel, including changes to the guest and employee experience, booking policies and distribution, and the industry’s recovery outlook.

Shifting Demand

With domestic and international border restrictions and a host of flying concerns, hotels will be welcoming a new type of traveler. To that end, they are making the stakes high to leave a positive impression that will lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations. The survey found that: