What Factors are the Most Important When Booking Accommodation in the Context to Covid-19?

by Akanksha Verma Digital Marketer

COVID-19 has made 2020 a challenging year for individuals and businesses, not the least the hospitality industry. 2021, however, promises a fresh start, with more people venturing out to travel by upholding public safety guidelines and COVID-19 appropriate behavioral practices. However, a lot has changed in terms of what serviced apartments now offer their guests and what the latter expect from their accommodation.

It is important to note that what you seek while booking accommodation in an ongoing or post COVID-19 scenario will always change from one type of property to another. The experience offered by a regular establishment will naturally differ from the privacy of serviced apartments. Suppose you opt to book furnished apartments in Washington DC. This will be radically different from a conventional hospitality accommodation. 

Sanitation, Cleanliness, Hygiene & Safety Protocols

Be it serviced apartments in Washington DC or any other city, guests will majorly consider safety, security and adherence to hygiene regulations above everything else. Properties which are well maintained, clean and dirt-free will naturally get top billing.

Guests will also look for the following (may differ in actual practice or implementation, depending upon the establishment in question):

  • Proper protocol for sanitization of the apartment throughout each day and at regular intervals.
  • Hand sanitizer or soap dispensers for hand-washing at all areas including indoor areas like the reception, passageways, dining zones, patios, gardens, lounges, swimming pool area, buffet areas and more. 
  • Suitably displayed COVID-19 guidelines and advisories for all common and public areas. 
  • Amply available spare masks and sanitizers not just at the reception but also in rooms in case people lose the same. 
  • Stringent adherence to all hygiene and safety guidelines, mandating wearing of masks in common areas and maintaining social distancing guidelines through crowd control, guards and other measures. 
  • Sanitizing rooms and bathrooms periodically with the latest equipment and other techniques. 
  • Limiting the maximum number of people allowed at a time in the dining area, swimming pool, gymnasium, spa, sauna and steam bath facilities and so on. 
  • Bins for guests to put towels for usage post laundering. 
  • Hand washing stations, particularly in changing rooms and toilets. 
  • Individual usage of drinking water. 
  • High-touch zones including door handles should be regularly disinfected throughout the course of each day. 
  • Waste containers with lids and ample tissue availability throughout the property.

Security Measures

Here are some security measures that serviced apartments have implemented for bolstering guest confidence. They include the following: 

  • Serviced apartments should have a register for all travelers, noting recent trip history and this should be the same for employees as well. 
  • They should offer transfers to airports and stations instead of asking guests to find out local and public transportation options. 
  • Frequent laundry services should be offered with proper internal protocol laid down for laundry alongside. 
  • Bedding and laundry will be vital and the entire procedure of cleaning linens and bedding should be made clear to guests. 
  • Chemicals allowed by authorities should be used for the above purpose. 
  • There should be a clearly laid down protocol for quarantine of guests whenever required along with epidemics. 
  • Teams should be trained to quickly spot COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • Limit entrances and have a temperature control system in place. 
  • Ventilation systems should be top notch with proper maintenance and disinfection done on a frequent basis. 
  • External suppliers should be adhering to proper hygiene and safety guidelines. 
  • Disinfectants should be used prior to entry and exit if automatic doors are not available. 
  • Doormats at the entrance will encourage people to dry off their shoes. This should be regularly changed and cleaned suitably with proper disinfectants. 
  • Guests should have garbage bags for putting in their suitcases and packages while they are not in use. The suitcases should be stored within these bags. 
  • Designated trash bins for used masks and safety equipment should be implemented while masks should be available for guests. 
  • Elevator trips should be a minute between two users and a single person will be allowed per trip. 

The Idea of Flexibility

Flexibility is a key concept that will shape guest experiences and whether or not they will book a particular serviced apartment while traveling.

Here are some ideas worth noting

  • They should bring out clearly communicated and new policies in order to accommodate the uncertainty prevailing in the post-COVID-19 travel industry. They should be more flexible to accommodate changes in business meeting timelines, cancelled or changed flight or railway timings, sudden delays in scheduled vacations owing to new restrictions being imposed and also frequently changing check-in and check-out timelines. 
  • Customers should not be worried while booking accommodation owing to factors like closing of borders, cancellations and isolation/quarantine scenarios if the serviced apartment provider has adequately flexible policies in place for such situations. 
  • Cancellation policies should be updated with new measures specifically brought in for global alerts, natural disasters and epidemics. 
  • Free cancellation should be given for international and local limitations and cancellations of big events. 

In addition to such parameters, guests will also take a closer look at whether a serviced apartment provider has medical care and facilities on offer while they will also anticipate insurance solutions and agreements for building greater trust and confidence. An extensive guide of the measures being taken by the serviced apartments for safeguarding guests against COVID-19 should be readily online. 

Guests should be supported and helped with pre-travel preparations by issuing a guide of things to do and follow throughout their stay. Detailed information should be given on amenities, public areas, the time taken for answering queries, what is included in packages and pre-bookings, the present situation of the property, exact location, security and safety measures, concierge solutions, transfers available to and from airports and railway stations, babysitters or child-friendly facilities, tickets to local landmarks and so on. Furthermore, establishments should come up with an advisory service for customers. This will make people more aware about COVID-19 related restrictions, guidelines and regulations which are ever-changing and evolving with the passage of time. 

Keeping the hospitality angle intact, regular serviced apartments and other establishments will have to follow the above guidelines for earning the trust of customers. Guests will now walk the extra mile and check a lot of things before ultimately booking accommodation. Experts also expect a surge in demand for furnished apartments in Washington DC and several other cities in the U.S. and UK among other popular global travel hubs. More people will prefer the privacy and solitude of their own accommodation, irrespective of whether they are quarantining or not. These apartments should have proper appliances, amenities, security measures and safety protocols for guests.

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About Akanksha Verma Innovator   Digital Marketer

23 connections, 0 recommendations, 57 honor points.
Joined APSense since, October 6th, 2021, From Delhi, India.

Created on Oct 12th 2021 09:05. Viewed 276 times.


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