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‘Touchless hospitality’ is the future

A view of Delhi hotels at night. (Photo: Sunil Majumdar/IANS)

What hotels are doing to remodel standard operating procedures towards greater care and safety for their guests

By Puja Gupta

June 3, 2020 (IANSlife) As the Indian hotel industry gears up to reopen from June 8, players in the field are reimagining ways to serve customers, giving utmost importance to hygiene standards and contactless services.

Veterans feel that the sector is going to get re-defined and “touchless hospitality” is the future. Keeping this in mind, hoteliers are remodeling their standard operating procedures towards providing greater care and ensuring a safe environment for their guests.

Thermal screening at entry gates, display of ‘safe’ status in Arogya Setu app for staff and guests, wearing of masks, disinfecting hotel vehicles, disinfecting guests luggage, touchless check –in and check-out option via official website/mobile app, and disinfecting rooms are some of the common safety and hygiene measures undertaken by hotels.

Roseate Hotels and Resorts has launched an initiative called ‘Care by Roseate’ to make their patrons comfortable with availing hospitality services in the new normal, post lockdown scenario.

In addition to the above mentioned safety measures, the hotel chain would also follow an alternate room occupancy policy to maintain social distancing. Housekeeping staff would wear Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Delivery and clearance of room service orders would be just outside the hotel room entrance. It also started providing live kitchen access to its customers via camera.

Dr. Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director Bird Group that owns Roseate Hotels and Resorts, tells IANSlife: “We at Roseate Hotels and Resorts firmly believe that in the hospitality industry, we need to constantly reinvent ourselves according to the needs of our guests and stay ahead of the game. We are  proud of the fact that Roseate Hotels & Resorts is the first hotel chain in India to implement its new initiative ‘Care by Roseate’ across its six hotels in partnership with its sister company Bird Apps.”

Sarovar Hotels & Resorts has announced each of its properties will have a designated person who will be the ‘Covid 19 Coordinator’ to ensure the proper process is laid down and followed. There will be sodium hydrochloride solution put in floor mats for disinfecting shoes. Rooms are going to be serviced only once daily and in the absence of the guests.

Ajay Bakaya, Managing Director of Sarovar Hotels & Resorts, informed: “We are also engaging our guests online and asking them for their preferences, including pre-ordering meals to reduce touch points as much as possible.”


The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts also announced the launch of its initiative ‘Suraksha’  in partnership with Bureau Veritas India to develop and validate additional protocols and sanitisation procedures. These protocols will be reviewed regularly and certified by a team of hygiene experts from Bureau Veritas, India who will also contribute towards raising the level of awareness as well as provide training to associates as these initiatives get implemented across the brand’s entire portfolio.

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Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) is working in close consultation with its longstanding global partners, who are pioneers in providing smart sustainable solutions for cleanliness and hygiene for the hospitality industry. Puneet Chhatwal, MD and CEO, Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), said: “The challenges we face are unprecedented, but we believe the best way for us to demonstrate our commitment is to give our guests and associates the assurance of exacting standards of safety and hygiene.”

 

Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and Group CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes, said: “We are excited and prepared to host guests with the new sanitised stay experience. At OYO, our topmost priorities are maintaining the health, hygiene and well-being of our guests and staff. Right from our app to hotel teams, we are working to ensure proper sanitisation of hotels as well as maintaining social distancing with the guests. We are displaying a 'Sanitised Stays' tag for properties that clear background audit checks for sanitisation, hygiene, and protective equipment. We along with our asset partners, look forward to delivering a safe, secure and comfortable experience for our guests.”

 

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Puja Gupta can be contacted at puja.g@ians.in