July 24, 2020
3 Min. Read

Coronavirus: The End of The Buffet

How will the hotel experience of the future play out, now that sanitizers seem to have become the most sought-after amenity? Exclusive in FUMBA TIMES: the new rules of TUI, the world largest travel company.

The tech language of the industry calls it SOP, standard operating procedures. Tourists notice it more as the look and feel of a hotel. Starting with the transfer from the airport to lobby designs and check-in procedures, from room amenities to housekeeping and restaurant settings – everything is under scrutiny after coronavirus. In Zanzibar, too, procedures for hotels and guests are hotly debated.

When re-opening airspace on May 18, Tanzania first announced that every incoming holiday guest would have to show a certificate of being coronavirus-free - a difficult requisition.  Only the Dubai airline Emirates, for instance, offers rapid tests at the airport so far. Soon after, the proposed Tanzania directive was quietly dropped in favour of just checking temperature of passengers after arrival. Further requirements: Holidaymakers have to wear masks. Hotel employees are to undergo a 14-day-quarantine before re-starting their work, it was announced. 

Meanwhile TUI, the world’s largest travel company, has formulated a 10-point-set of hotel and staff rules, applicable to the company’s own and partner hotels. TUI operates in hundred countries and had a turn-over of 19 billion Euro in 2019. 

It locked down its entire business for six weeks during the coronavirus health crisis until beginning of May and received a loan of 1,8 billion Euro to cover losses from German state bank KfW. When announcing the new concept Sebastian Ebel, board member of TUI, said: “Holiday makers now expect safety first from any destination they may consider.”

10 rules for safer Travels

1. Online check-in: Enable vacationers to check in online using the hotel’s website or their smartphone. Check-in is therefore largely contactless. 

2. Distance rule: All employees in the public areas of the hotel, such as the restaurants, lobby and corridors and in the fitness rooms, are obliged to keep a distance of 1.5 to two meters from each other and from the guests. Tables in the restaurant are only cleaned when the guest is not at the table. 

3. Personnel planning: The hotel employees work in fixed teams in order to be able to reconstruct possible infection chains.

4. Restaurant: The capacities in the hotel restaurants are significantly reduced. Tables are set up with a minimum distance of 1.5 meters. This limits the number of guests in the restaurant. 

5. Extension of opening times: In order to offer all guests sufficient space, the opening times of the restaurants and other hotel offers are extended. 

6. Entertainment and activities: Only events, sports and entertainment offers with a small number of participants and without close contact are carried out. Golf or tennis can take place, but not a soccer tournament. The spa offer will be adapted and childcare will be aligned to new standards in accordance with the requirements of the destinations and countries of origin.

7. Expansion of disinfection dispensers: The number of disinfection dispensers in the hotel is significantly increased, so that guests and employees can disinfect their hands at all important contact points. This includes, for example, all places where food and drinks are offered, sports facilities and the lobby area. 

8. Room cleaning: Before the arrival of new guests, all rooms are cleaned

with special cleaning agents that also eliminate potential Covid 19 viruses. Particular attention is paid to cleaning areas in the bathroom, bedside tables or devices for daily needs such as the remote control of the TV set. 

9. More service, less self-service: wherever possible, staff serve food and drinks to guests. These wear protective masks. Self-service offers such as buffets are used less.

10. Training by independent examiners: TUI has all employees trained in its own hotels. The measures are introduced in addition to the legal regulations of the respective holiday countries. This includes training documents, webinars, checklists, but also of customer information.

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