WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new national survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and conducted by Morning Consult shows that a number of improvements to health and sanitation protocol at U.S. hotels would have a considerable impact on guests’ comfort levels staying there. The top priorities among frequent travelers (i.e., those who report staying in hotels five or more nights per year) include face coverings for employees (87 percent a lot/some impact) and guests (85 percent), suspending daily housekeeping of rooms (86 percent), and using technology to reduce direct contact (85 percent). These priorities align with AHLA’s Safe Stay Guest Checklist and CDC recommendations distributed on behalf of the industry.
Other leading measures to increase a guest’s comfort level include adding transparent barriers at front desks, concierge, or valet stations (82 percent); signage for washing hands, distancing, and PPE (80 percent); temporarily closing amenities (77 percent); and floor markings to promote social distancing (77 percent). The majority of respondents indicate that these protocols would impact their comfort level, with 8 out of 10 frequent travelers responding that they feel comfortable staying in a hotel that has implemented the enhanced cleaning and safety protocols called for in AHLA’s Safe Stay initiative.
In addition, the AHLA and Morning Consult survey results also highlighted the following:
- Cleanliness is a top priority. Out of a list of nine options, frequent travelers most often chose cleanliness as the most important factor when determining their next hotel stay, and 81 percent of travelers are more comfortable staying at hotels now with enhanced protocols and standards implemented.
- Guests prefer housekeeping by request only. Nearly 9 out of 10 frequent travelers say that limiting in-room housekeeping to “by request only” would increase their comfort level. Fifty-eight percent of guests do not want daily housekeeping and would not be comfortable with housekeeping staff entering their room without advance permission.
- The use of face coverings is a priority. Sixty-two percent of guests would feel more comfortable if hotels require face coverings and 66 percent of guests would be comfortable if hotels require employees to wear face coverings and gloves.
The pandemic has decimated the hotel industry as travel has slowed significantly throughout the last few months. The fall looks to be equally as challenging, with only one-third of frequent travelers expecting their next hotel stay to take place within the next three months, 18 percent within three to six months, and 25 percent within six months to a year.
“The hotel industry united to enhance our already rigorous cleaning protocols for the health and safety of our guests, and it’s working,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “It’s more important than ever that guests follow our Safe Stay Guest Checklist so they understand what is expected of them no matter where they stay. Travelers across the country looking to include a hotel stay in their upcoming vacation plans know that with the implementation of Safe Stay, hotels will be safer and cleaner than ever before.”
AHLA recently released the Safe Stay Guest Checklist for guests on how to travel safely while also creating a standardized safety experience nationwide, which includes several requirements such as the use of face coverings and limiting daily room cleaning. This checklist is part of AHLA’s Safe Stay guidelines, an industry-wide, enhanced set of health and safety protocols designed to provide a safe and clean environment for all hotel guests and employees.