With travel on hold, eight in 10 hotel rooms are sitting empty across the U.S. Now, hotel brands are planning for a post-Coronavirus bookings boost. The hospitality industry is betting that increased cleaning standards will play a key role in winning travelers back. Hospitality brands including Hilton, Marriott, and Airbnb have recently announced new initiatives to revamp cleaning protocols.
Hilton, which operates 6,100 properties around the world, has partnered with Lysol and the Mayo Clinic for a new initiative called Hilton CleanStay with Lysol Protection. Each hotel will be stocked with Lysol products while the Hilton in particular will use electrostatic sprayers and ultraviolet lights to sanitize surfaces and a cleaning regime completely rewritten by the Mayo Clinic. Rooms will have “CleanStay Room Seals” on the doors to indicate a room has not been touched since its last cleaning. Hilton is also digitizing its check-in process by allowing guests to use digital keys and check in or out using the Hilton app—this will not only increase the functionality of the app, but could elevate guest’s experience, according to a Gartner report.
Similarly, Marriott has created a Global Cleanliness Council to help “develop the next level of global hospitality cleanliness”. The brand will work with public health and hospitality experts to enhance sanitation guidelines at all of its 7,300 international properties. The brand also promised to use electrostatic spraying technology and continue maintaining social distancing protocols for the indefinite future. Airbnb is furthering its cleaning initiatives by working with the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to develop new cleaning protocols for its hosts. Hosts can enroll in learning and certification programs about the new cleaning protocols, and guests can filter accommodation options based on hosts who have completed the programs. As part of the cleaning standards, hosts must wear masks and gloves when cleaning, and there must be a 24-hour waiting period in between guest stays. Airbnb plans to begin its new procedures in May, while Hilton and Marriott will roll out their initiatives in June.
The hospitality industry is assuring guests that when travel does resume, they can expect next-level cleanliness from their hotels. By marketing new disinfectant protocols, hospitality brands can stay top of mind with customers going forward.