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Hotels embrace post-pandemic tech

Hotel staff at Grand Hyatt Seoul use a UV disinfection device to clean a guest room.

A few months ago, nobody would have thought twice about booking a hotel stay. But in the ‘new normal’, the simple act of staying away from home is filled with hazards.

Hospitality brands are stepping up with heightened hygiene protocols and practical digital and contactless technology innovations.

Hyatt has just announced that all 149 of its Asia Pacific-based hotels have completed the first phase to support the group’s Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment goals.

“As countries in the Asia Pacific region continue to ease stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions, our top priority is to ensure our guests feel safe as they return to dine and stay at our hotels,” said David Udell, group president of Asia Pacific, Hyatt. “Our region was the first to be impacted by COVID-19, and our hotels were quick to implement a consistent set of enhanced safety and hygiene measures.”

Following the pandemic, the group said it is now seeing a “good rebound” in Greater China, driven by domestic leisure and restaurant demand.

Hygiene and safety measures in phase one of the group’s commitment include providing alcohol wipes at restaurants and as part of in-room amenities, knock-and-go room service, increased frequency of cleaning air filters, implementation of a new wellness policy for staff and mandatory use of masks by all hotel personnel.

More imaginative tech add-ons for guests see Hyatt collaborating with online healthcare company Headspace to provide mindfulness exercises, guided meditation and sleep aid. These services can be accessed via the World of Hyatt app or on in-room TVs. Guests are also able to request fitness equipment such as yoga mats and weights via the app.

In addition, the new Hyatt WeChat Mall offers more than 300 wellbeing experiences from 80 hotels in Greater China, such as healthy cooking classes or sports coaching for the whole family.

Hyatt will be rolling out more digital amenities through the World of Hyatt app to allow guests to take advantage of contactless check-in and check-out and mobile key entry, or schedule housekeeping and room service.

The group has also been working on its food and beverage offerings; where buffet stations have reopened, food stations feature protective barriers and at Hyatt Regency Shanghai Global Harbor, the rooftop terrace has been repurposed for outdoor dining. Guests are also provided with in-room mixology kits if they want to avoid visiting the hotel bar.

QR codes for restaurant and bar menus are now available at many Hyatt hotels.

Hyatt has also been quick to respond to the efforts of local authorities. Grand Hyatt Singapore has been one of the first hotels to receive the city’s SG Clean Quality Mark and Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit was recently awarded the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration certificate.

The SG Clean Quality Mark was introduced back in February by Singapore’s National Environment Agency with a view to instilling a ‘keep clean culture’ in the city state. The certification system sets rigorous cleaning and sanitation standards. The programme took a forced break during Singapore’s ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown but is now back and busy, accrediting properties across the city.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand launched its Safety and Health Administration certification in May in collaboration with private and public sector partners, including the Thai Hotels Association, the Thai Restaurant Association and the Thai Spa and Wellness Association. The aim is to raise tourism industry standards and instil confidence among international and domestic tourists.

And by July this year, all Hyatt hotels will have at least one member of staff trained as a Hygiene & Wellness Leader to ensure standards are maintained.


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