INDIA. New Delhi: Consecutive waves of COVID-19 are accelerating and deepening around the world. In fact, reports now are coming in about relapsing of cases followed by mental health issues as well.
While no one can predict the course that COVID-19 will take or how long it will persist in the world’s population, it is likely we will have to adjust to COVID-19 by following strict guidelines: wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, using sanitizers, and regularly washing our hands.
Travel and tourism sector
the Travel and Tourism industry, one of the most hard hit sectors of the economy in the wake of the pandemic, faces a prolonged existential threat. What was thought to be a short term problem at the beginning of the year is now forcing the tourism industry to seek a long term renewal. The industry’s economic, social, environmental, and health potentials must adjust to a new era of travel.
No one knows precisely when travel will fully reopen. But the industry must begin planning. Given the magnitude of the crisis, the complexity of reopening needs a new approach through impactful innovations.
Health environment of a destination
COVID-19 has brought the importance of health and hygiene to the fore. Confidence that safety measures are being implemented are of utmost importance to tourists.
Consumers are conservative in their expectations for the resumption of travel. The majority believe travel will be impacted for six to 12 months or longer and are unsure when it will return to normal.
Most travelers plan to postpone international travel for a year or so. The trend toward health and safety is clearly reflected when people do choose where to stay and eat.
Precautions for the new normal travel
In the new normal, most travelers will be more health-conscious and chose properties with updated health and hygiene arrangements. Trends indicate that cleanliness, health, and safety precautions are more important factors than price, location, and exclusive offers. Public display of compliance with government safety standards is also considered very important.
Furthermore, when looking at specific precautions, travelers will also be checking arrangements made for hand sanitizer availability for guests and staff, regular sanitization of high-traffic areas, and requiring face masks to be worn by staff and guests in public areas. Safe distancing will also be of great concern.
Considering these factors, future tourism investments in sanitary, health, and environmental infrastructures will have a great influence on the success of a property. Another area where the whole region will need improvement is the digitalisation of industry services that will now be more vital than ever as face-to-face interactions may remain limited or less preferred by travelers.
What hotels are doing in Delhi
IHG Hotels & Resorts were one of the first one to institute strict health and safety measures when the hotels reopened in New Delhi in the first week of September. They provided enhanced guest experiences by redefining cleanliness and supporting guests’ wellbeing throughout their stay as per the IHG Way of Clean standards and all applicable local regulations and health requirements.
Holiday Inn New Delhi Mayur Vihar welcomed guests back with the following measures under the IHG Clean Promise: mandatory Aarogya Setu app installation for each guest entering the hotel, required mask wearing, temperature checks, disinfected luggage, and maintaining physical distancing at all times were strictly enforced.
Steps were also taken to reduce contact at check-in, touchless transactions, foot-operated sanitizer stations, sanitized key cards, paperless checkout, contactless payments. All hard surfaces and fixtures were disinfected, cleanliness audits of rooms are conducted on regular basis.
The tourism industry must continue to make modifications to their safety protocols is they are to win the confidence of tourists who are both eager and cautious to resume their travels.