Latest research taken by BWH Hotel Group GB (Best Western Hotels GB), the organisation which represents almost 300 UK independent hotels, has shown that over 63% of guests would choose not to stay at a hotel that removed COVID-19 safety measures after Freedom Day on 19 July.
Despite Government rules changing, nearly 80% of guests* surveyed also indicated that they preferred hotels to continue with covid risk measures such as social distanced seating, mask wearing and contactless check in.
Rob Paterson, CEO at BWH Hotel Group GB, said, “Hoteliers need to balance the concerns of guests versus commercial business decisions come Freedom Day.
'We have encouraged our hoteliers to read and digest all the new guidance from Government and UKHospitality ahead of the rules changing and make decisions that both protect their teams and guests, whilst ensuring they have an enjoyable stay this summer.
'Anecdotally, many of our hotels have told us they will be keeping most COVID-19 safety measures, to provide assurances to guests their breaks are as safe as possible. This approach is one we wholeheartedly support and recommend across our hotels.
Certain measures such as contactless check-in will remain in place across many of our hotels, as significant investments in technology and new procedures have been a positive move for them, regardless of COVID-19 safety, and guests have welcomed the change.
In such a tough time for all hospitality businesses, we need to capitalise on what will be a successful summer for many, whilst ensuring we do our collective duty to protect the British public.”
Interestingly, one area where hotel guests seem to welcome changes is room cleaning. Many hotels are not servicing bedrooms for short stays (<3 nights) to limit time spent in guest bedrooms, according to the survey, 42% of guests would want their rooms now cleaned daily, and 58% would remain happy for it to be done on departure.
Perhaps surprisingly, less than a third of guests would welcome the return of a buffet breakfast, with 69% of guests wishing it to remain served to them at socially distanced tables, despite the resulting often perceived reduced scale and choice on offer.
The online survey of 2,832 BW Rewards members in GB was undertaken over 15 & 16 July.
Full survey results:
• 6 in 10 (63%) would not stay at a hotel which removed its COVID-19 risk measures after restrictions are dropped;
• People think that the practices hotels adopted during the COVID-19 era are still important (% very & fairly important combined)
• 78%, social distancing should be maintained
• 78%, hotel staff should wear masks
• 78%, hotel guests should wear masks in public spaces
• 65%, keep screen on reception between staff and guests
• 43%, automated or online check-in available (though only 14% think this is ‘very important’)
• 82% intend to wear face masks in public after restrictions are dropped
Probably the only question where there’s a bit of split in opinion relates to room cleaning: • 42% want their room cleaned daily, 58% want it cleaned upon departure
• 31% want the return of buffet-style breakfast. The majority (69%) want to order at their table and have hotel staff bring their breakfast to them.