In an attempt to revitalize travel-related industries, the European Union is relaxing travel restrictions, and travellers and business owners make plans for the summer travel season.
However, hotels still face uncertainty brought by the pandemic as the tourism industry is not completely in the clear, and a potential labour crunch caused by insufficient workers in the hospitality industry.
To overcome the challenges from the pandemic-induced uncertainty and the lack of workers to provide high quality services, the best solution for European hotels is to adopt a contactless and customer-centric hotel technology.
Last year, the pandemic has hit hard on the tourism-related industries in Europe with the total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP plummeting from 2191.2 billion USD in 2019 to 1064.7 USD in 2020.
But in 2021, travellers and business owners are optimistic about a strong recovery in tourism as they make plans for this summer travel season. Policymakers in Europe are also helping to revitalize tourism industries – the European Union announced on 19 May that it is progressing towards relaxing travel for travellers who are vaccinated.
Challenges for European Hotels
These plans suggest that hotels in Europe are expecting an influx of guests. However, there are practical difficulties that loom over the European hospitality industry.
First, there is uncertainty and confusion about when and how vaccinated tourists are arriving. Business owners find it hard to navigate various regulations and procedures, all the while having concerns that the pandemic situation may worsen anytime. This adds on to the anxiety induced by the uncertainty of the pandemic that is taking a toll on business owners.
Second, the hospitality industry is threatened by a potential labour crunch. Hotels may not have enough manpower to tackle the surge in tourist numbers, and cannot hire enough workers in time even if they want to. Labour shortage has already made daily operations difficult for hotels and restaurants in popular destinations such as Hawaii, and this indicates that the same will likely happen to European hotels too.
With uncertainty looming over the European hospitality industry and labour shortage threatening to thwart hotel operations, relying solely on traditional means of hotel operation mediated by front desks, call centres and walkie-talkies is not sufficient for European hotels to maintain the same level of service excellence as pre-COVID times.
Hospitality Technology in the New Normal
Pandemic-induced uncertainty and labour crunch are the two challenges in the post-pandemic new normal, and they would linger for a little while. What can European hotels do to prepare for these challenges? The answer: digital transformation. Hotels must embrace a technology that is both contactless – to minimise the impact of uncertainty and hygiene concerns brought by the pandemic – and also customer-centric – to enable hotels to maintain or even elevate guest experience in the new normal.
Vouch’s Digital Concierge is exactly what European hotels need to prepare for recovery.
In need of a contactless solution? The Digital Concierge allows services to be carried out with minimal physical contact from check-in to check-out. This also means more time and freedom for your staff to carry out high-impact services that truly matter for a memorable guest experience.
Our Digital Concierge offers a full suite of customer-facing functionalities, including F&B (in-room dining and takeaway from bars and restaurants), housekeeping, facility booking and FAQs. Whatever needs your guests have, the Digital Concierge is there to meet them.
Vouch’s Digital Concierge is easy to use, and just as easy to deploy. The dedicated customer success team at Vouch makes sure that the Digital Concierge will be up and running at your hotel swiftly and smoothly.
To find out more about what the Digital Concierge can offer, watch this short video on how Vouch’s Digital Concierge redefines hotel guest experience.