The Hotel Industry in Ghana has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and all we can do now is consider the options hoteliers have towards the future of the industry. Two things come to mind when forecasting the future of the Hotels in Ghana:
COVID-19-related changes to workflow in the hotels which are continuing to develop daily.
The continued evolution of mobile hospitality technology
Both of these are sure to last and that will alter the hotel's approach to serving guests for the better.
The travel industry is being challenged like never before, and now more than ever our decisions and strategies will affect the future of our businesses.
Covid-19 has accelerated the introduction of contactless technology to facilitate guest experience.
In Ghana, we can forecast that the 'new normal' in the hotel industry will have two phases.
The first phase, currently underway, is geared towards adopting processes & principles that support guests’ desire for cleanliness and contactless interactions.
Contact or the sharing of items can be avoided when guests can engage hotel and other staff from a smart device.
In the second phase, we will see a loosening of the physical distancing expectations as guests become comfortable again with varying levels of contact. After all, personal engagement is the very essence of the hospitality industry.
The current trend in the hospitality industry is online bookings. People are calling less and less to book for rooms because booking online is much easier and flexible. You will need to be listed on as many OTAs as possible in order to increase the visibility of your hotel. Guests can also check reviews and ratings on these platforms to determine that your hotel is the best choice. Making your hotel guest experience contactless during and after the COVID-19 period will make your hotel stand out against your competition.
Get a hotel website and integrate a booking engine to acquire direct bookings.
For guests who do not want to book through OTAs or guests who want more information about your hotel, having an updated and modern website is key. You will need to integrate your website to a booking engine in order to acquire direct bookings.
In order to ensure that your guests are informed about the measures you are taking towards ensuring that the hotel is regularly disinfected and free from COVID-19, you will need to highlight and promote the cleanliness measures that you’re taking.
Have reasonable non-refundable and non-cancellable booking policies so that your guests feel protected if they cannot make it.
Hotel Mobile Apps & platforms such as guest portals have already been in the industry and are fast being adopted during the current situation, by hoteliers and guests. Looking at the future of hospitality, some of the most exciting technology uses will find a permanent place in the areas of hotel check-in and check-out, etc. With a guest portal, your guests can request an early check-in, pick-up facility, or any other amenities right from the portal. You can also collect guest information easily without having to come into contact with the guest. Another way to ensure that pre-arrival is contactless, you can send pre-arrival emails to initiate guest engagement. Finally, you can go a step further by integrating your booking engine on your website to a Payment Gateway so that guests can confirm bookings by making payment from the comfort of their homes instead of having to come into contact with your front desk staff.
One major technology to look out for when ensuring a contactless arrival is the self-check-in kiosk. This technology which will be situated in your hotel lobby, allows guests to check-in or out, issue door key and pay securely, etc. This will limited human contact since the kiosk can be integrated with your Hotel Software as well.
Another way to provide a contactless service will be to share room allocation details via email or SMS.
Finally, you can also adopt digital hotel keys such as Bluetooth enabled or electronic keys. This would help reduce contact with the hotel staff.
While staying at your hotel, you want your guest to feel safe & comfortable without exposing them to the risk of getting infected. This means you will need to provide a platform for your guests to perform certain operations in a safe environment. With a guest portal, you can let your guests check bills, amend stay, and request for extra amenities (housekeeping, laundry, room service, etc) from their hotel rooms without having to come into contact with any of your hotel staff.
Your staff will also need to be safe thus providing a Hotel Mobile App syncing with your hotel software will give your staff the opportunity to check reservations, respond to guests' queries, assign, track and manage housekeeping with little to no human contact. This way you are protecting your staff and your guests.
You can also send updates via emails or the portal to your guests for services, offers, events at the property.
Using the self-check-in kiosks or the guest portal, your guests can perform self check-out to ensure a full contactless experience.
Guests can also use the guest portal to request for drop-off and late check-out.
One main underlying tool used to contacting your guests is email. You can send invoices, payment reminders via email.
You can also encourage your guests to make online payments.
Contactless Post departure engagement
You would want to stay in touch with your guests after they have checked out of your hotel. Doing this will instill loyalty and help increase your guest retention rate. After you have provided your contactless journey, you would want to know their experience at your hotel so you can improve upon your service. You can get guest reviews via email.
Additionally, you can send promotional emails to stay in touch with your guests.
Watch the video below to know how eZee Complete Hospitality Management Solution can help you provide a Contactless Guest Experience in Ghana.
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