Interoperability, Health Innovation Are the Keys to Recovery

Moderated by: Diane Estner, DANNI Enterprises | Presented by: John Picard

Getting back to the business of travel will require big thinking and bold action. Innovation will be the catalyst for change in the hospitality industry. Solutions will propel it forward. Technology will be the key to restoring trust and confidence in travel once again.

Few understand all of this better than John Picard. A true disrupter and design innovator, it is Picard’s job to go out into the world, to discover, explore and see what is around the corner – to stress-test the latest ideas and inventions, figure out what works, what does not – and what is going to change the world.

Thursday’s afternoon HFTP Hangout was moderated by Diane Estner, CEO of DANNI Enterprises, with Picard as the featured guest speaker. It was during this presentation that he illustrated his blueprint for re-opening the hospitality and travel industries following the pandemic.

During this turbulent time, Picard has been working closely with an industry that was grounded by the virus – the airlines and airports, which will also require the restoration of traveler confidence and relaxations in social distancing mandates in order to even begin to recover.

The impact of COVID-19 on these industries is completely unprecedented. It is a testament to natural law how quickly we were brought to our knees, says Picard. This is not the time to follow or to be looking over our shoulders. We cannot hope to solve this and move forward on the building blocks of yesterday. The makeup of the traveler/guest will change. Airports and hotels will have to change, as well.

First, frame the problem and create a journey map.

When the quarantine has subsided, what will the traveler of tomorrow look like? What will an airport look like? A hotel? Like airports, hotel properties are data factories. Right now, we are all flying blind. Data will be our “vaccine” while we wait for one from science. The technology to effectively use this data will help enable trust and confidence in the hospitality industry again.

What are some of the technologies that will play a key role in building traveler trust? It will be the solutions that can help maintain social distancing and sanitation. Think outside the box and you already have a host of solutions to choose from:

  • Ultraviolet (UV) cleaning robots in the hotel rooms
  • Thermal camera systems
  • Geospatial sensors in the lighting system
  • Antimicrobial, smart flooring system
  • Contact tracing applications

UV light technology can play myriad roles in sanitation practices. It is cheap, effective and can destroy the COVID-19 molecule at its touchpoint. It can be used in elevators, escalator handrails, air filtration systems and rooms.

Smart floor systems can operate as heat maps that allow for density control in confined spaces. You can identify large traffic areas or potential issues with physical distancing and use the data to accurately define your disinfecting and maintenance needs.

There are even existing solutions that can be self-administered by properties, including steam-cleaning operations or antimicrobial paint that is both environmentally friendly and serves as infection control.

There is no end to the solutions for infection control, but that does not mean you must implement all of them. Think of the saying, “killing an ant with an atom bomb.”

What about the data? What will be the evolution or shift of hotels incorporating their guest data into the solutions? Our mobile devices are the key. They are our remote controls to life. They could unlock a lot in terms of solving the issues with too-close contact: They could be our check-in kiosk, our hotel room key and contract tracing.

Interoperability will be crucial to survival.

Airlines, hotels, clubs, solution providers – The entire hospitality and travel industries will need to come together and share solutions in order to accelerate change. Wait too long and you run the risk of being left behind. Action needs to be swift and meaningful, and there will be risks involved. We need to be the first agents of heath innovation. We need to strike the perfect balance between privacy and safety. And, we need to make big moves to meet the guest of the future.

Explore Clean to Cleaner Technologies at HITEC

Read this message from HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE, FIH as he discusses the hospitality’s inevitable shift to new cleanliness practices and technologies. Then, plan to explore many of these solutions through special reports, education sessions and a feature exhibition pavilion when you attend HITEC San Antonio this October 26-29, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas USA.

Briana Gilmore is the HFTP Communications Coordinator. Briana can be reached at Briana.Gilmore@hftp.org or +1 (512) 220-4017.

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About the Author: Briana Gilmore

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