The global pandemic has brought new awareness to sanitation practices across virtually all industries, but especially those where individuals interact in shared spaces such as schools, restaurants, fitness facilities, and healthcare facilities. Sanitation in the hotel industry has always been of paramount importance, but increased risk of illness has brought it to a new level over the past year. As people start to travel more in the coming months and years, hotel sanitation will continue to be more important than ever.
Many travelers are and will continue to be wary of using shared spaces and public spaces as the pandemic continues. Demonstrating a commitment to sanitation through both actions and communication tools will be critical for attracting guests and making them feel comfortable about staying in a hotel. Some of the actions hotel management can take to instill confidence in guests include:
- Using signage to communicate when and how rooms and other spaces have been cleaned and sanitized
- Posting your sanitation protocols on your website
- Requiring staff to wear PPE, wash hands, and use hand sanitizer so these actions are visible to guests
- Using digital menus, guides, and flyers in rooms and connected bars and restaurants
- Tracking inspections and other safety measures
It has always been the case that customer loyalty in the hotel industry is linked to cleanliness, and in light of our current reality, this has never been more true.
It’s not enough to make customers feel safe with effective communication. The staff must show, as well as tell, the measures the hotel is undertaking to protect the health of guests. Steps must also be taken to ensure that the right products and practices are employed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in hotel rooms. Consider the various products available for sanitation in the hotel industry by:
- Making sure they are on the EPA’s List N
- Comparing log kills
- Evaluating the ease and versatility of application
- Understanding minimum contact times
- Answering the questions: Does the solution…
- Contain mild ingredients
- Have low material incompatibility
- Offer a low environmental impact
- Become water-soluble and colorfast
- Not contain abrasives
- Have built-in detergency
- Become inactivated by organic materials
Choose products that are easy to apply and require minimal effort by staff, with clear, easy methods for measuring and premixing products prior to application. Understand and train employees on the difference between cleaning and sanitation, why minimum contact times matter, and why it’s so important to clean before sanitizing, especially with products that do not contain a detergent.
Challenges in the Hotel Industry
Unfortunately, hotels are struggling to survive the pandemic, and those that remain open often do so with limited staff because of layoffs. One survey indicates that 63 percent of hotels have less than half of their typical, pre-crisis staff working full-time. One reason for this is that occupancy is dramatically lower at just 34.6 percent, which is down from 79.6 percent a year ago.
The precipitous drop in travel demand has been devastating to the industry, and it’s not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in the near future. Business and group travel, which account for a significant portion of hotel use, are not expected to return to peak 2019 levels until 2023.
Maintaining stringent sanitation standards is difficult enough with a full team, but it’s even more difficult when resources are tight. This makes it all the more important to implement practices that are both systematized and easy to follow. The more time employees can save on sanitizing without impacting quality, the more efficient the team will be.
Decon7: Your Hotel Sanitation Partner
Decon7’s products are easy to apply and effective against a range of bacteria and viruses,* including COVID-19. When you work with Decon7, we provide more than just products. Our team offers hands-on training and valuable resources, including pre-designed certificates of disinfection and sanitation with QR codes that direct guests to more information about the products and practices you use to keep them safe.
If you need a disinfecting protocol for your hotel, download our free Restaurant and Hospitality Disinfection Checklist today.
*see label for specific use instructions