Product Name: Lucid
The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought severe financial loss to the hospitality industry around the world. The most obvious sign is the sharply increased vacancy rate. Because of the travel restrictions existing at both the national and international levels, accompanied by travel bans, broader closures, quarantine requirements, and fear of transmission in the traveling process (Gössling & Hall, 2020), the hospitality industry is facing extremely great challenges. For instance, in the United States, most hotel chains have lost plenty of customers, and many smaller businesses like lodges have even had to shut down their facilities to respond to the large outbreak of pandemics (Krishnan et al., 2010).
As hygienic security is becoming the focus of travelers, in order to recover the energy of the hospitality industry and avoid the spreading of the pandemic at the same time, American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLC) (2020) formulates health and safety guidelines provided to the hospitality industry, in accordance with guidelines by American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the public health crisis (p.4). These guidelines are to instruct the industry to apply specific methods for the cleaning process in the public areas and rooms in facilities, which is different and more strict than the previous cleaning protocol (AHLA, 2020, p.6). The coronavirus outbreak has altered customers’ perception of the sanitation conditions in the hospitality industry with more concerns than ever, it is necessary to make the cleaning process in hospitality visible to pacify customers during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
How might we bring hotel cleaning transparency to the hotel industry’s customers so that they will feel more safe and healthy when they are staying in a hotel.
The solution is a service and system design which combines customer-side App and in-room touchpoints to present hotel room cleaning details to customers. Based on customers’ opinions and feedback toward hotel cleaning and secondary research, there is the need to show customers how a hotel room is cleaned and disinfected so that customers can have a better understanding of the conditions of the environment they will live in and keep themselves safe and healthy during their staying period.
The touchpoints of both the customer-side and in-room side provide a hotel room’s cleaning details like the janitor, the use of disinfectants, in-room items’ cleaning steps, and in-room air qualities. Those touchpoints also offer a room’s other information such as its check-in times before the next customers. Customer-side App implements Augmented Reality technology which helps customers check a room’s environmental conditions in AR mode that gives intuitive perspectives to their living environment.
There are two touch points inside a hotel room in two places, one in the bedroom shows the cleaning information of in-room items like sofa, table, bed items such as the bedsheet, and cups; another one is in the bathroom shows the cleaning details of the toilet, the sink, and the bathtub which have the most sanitary concerns. If there is any question or concern related to room cleanness of other service requests, both customer-side App and in-room touchpoints provide a direct connection to the hotel assistant that helps customers solve their problems.
The implementation of both sides’ touchpoints gives information equivalence to the hotel industry and its customers. Customers now can also be the inspector to check a hotel’s qualities and cleanness. The relationship between the hotel industry and its customers will be more trustworthy. Make hotel room cleaning transparent, bring a safe and healthy environment to the clients.
AHLA. (2020 dEC. 28). Enhanced industry-wide hotel cleaning guidelines in response to COVID-19. AHLA. https://www.ahla.com/sites/default/files/safestayguidelinesv4_102820_1.pdf
CDC. (2020). Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility. CDC. http://cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html.
Gössling, S., Scott, D., & Hall, C. M. (2020). Pandemics, tourism and global change: a rapid assessment of COVID-19. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1-20.
Krishnan, V., et al. (2020). Hospitality and COVID-19: How long until ‘no vacancy’ for US hotels? McKinsey & Company.