The year 2020 brought many challenges to everyone’s day to day life. Many industries struggled to thrive during the ongoing pandemic, and many people had to create new ways to grow and adapt to meet new safety standards and regulations.
It’s no secret that the travel industry was greatly impacted during the lockdown. As things started to move forwards, the industry had to find new ways for people to be able to enjoy vacations and travel confidently. Contactless technology became a big part of that.
Contactless technology allowed hotels and resorts to apply new COVID-friendly measures that were both convenient and safe for guests and employees—while allowing everyone to enjoy a sense of relaxation and normalcy.
Even when COVID-19 is a distant memory, many of these innovations in contactless technology will stick around, as they have become a great convenience to many travelers and resort staff members.
As we enter 2021, we will surely continue to see the rise of contactless technology and plenty of new and innovative methods to create the best possible travel experience possible for guests.
This existed at many airports, hotels, and resorts prior to COVID-19, but it has become a much more prevalent and mandatory feature to help keep guests and staff safe. Contactless check-in at airports is usually done through a kiosk, whereas contactless check-in and out at a resort is done through your smartphone. Depending on the resort, you may be able to check in and out through an app. Or, you may just have to scan your confirmation email in a kiosk-like device. Either way, this method is fast and helps limit contact between guests and the staff.
This was another hotel feature that was becoming more of the norm, but the pandemic and need for limited contact helped make keyless entry a regular feature when vacationing anywhere. Eliminating a key is also better for the environment and is one less thing for guests to have to carry around. Keyless entry is made possible through either a smartphone app, or sometimes it can be input into a bracelet.
Part of the traditional traveling and vacation experience usually involves chatting with the staff at the front desk or a concierge to help learn about local attractions and other things to do in the area. To help limit this added contact during the pandemic, many hotels and resorts are providing digital travel information to guests before they check in. This also makes it unnecessary for resorts to keep paper brochures and other local information at the front desk—thus saving paper and limiting access to a shared contact area.
These online travel guides aim to be interactive and updated regularly throughout your stay, acting as your own virtual concierge. Guests can choose to turn on text or email alerts if an opening becomes available at a restaurant or certain activity.
While hotels and resorts have gone above and beyond when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting rooms between guests, it doesn’t hurt to limit the touching of surfaces whenever possible—especially when it adds more convenience! Guests are finding it more common to stay in rooms with an Amazon Alexa or Google Home device to help control various features of their suite including lights, TV, heat and AC, and music. These devices can also be used to order room service or contact the front desk, negating the need for an en-suite telephone.
Additionally, elevators are evolving with touch-free panels that work by recognizing a guest’s phone or face to automatically send them to their suite floor. Some elevators have sensors to read if a finger hovers above a number without having to actually press the button.
Many resorts and hotels have added additional cleaning staff to aid in the more intense cleaning procedures they are completing. However, some of these staff duties have been taken over by robots. These robots are able to deliver towels or room service to a suite to reduce contact. And some can even sanitize areas through new technology like the LightStrike Germ-Zapping robots that some brands have brought in.
Additionally, some places use UV lights to sanitize surfaces and electronic hand sanitizer dispensers to minimize the need to touch the machine.
These innovative contactless technology additions have made it much safer to travel and enjoy a vacation during these uncertain times. If you’re feeling like you need to get away and feel comfortable partaking in a much-needed getaway, shop these timeshare rentals deals to travel for less.