There’s no shortage of complaints about hotel stays these days, and one reason for that is pretty obvious: Many hotels are still seriously underfunded.
In 2018, US hotels directly employed more than 2.3 million people, according to an Oxford Economics study funded by the American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Foundation. But AHLA estimates that hotels will end 2022 with only 1.97 million employees, which is 84% of pre-pandemic levels.
If your previous hotel stay was terrible—it probably felt like there was no one around to help you or the lines were too long—there could be a staff shortage. But it’s not all bad news; This is a story of two hotels. While the staff shortage can certainly be brutal, they have brought new technology to step up. And sometimes, technology is an improvement in processes that depend on workers.
ReadingThe real labor shortage is coming, and all we’re doing is making it worse.
Bad effect of lack of hotel staff on travelers
Unsurprisingly, due to staff shortage, a decrease in customer satisfaction, The American Customer Satisfaction Index’s travel study interviewed 6,200 travelers from 2021 to 2022 and found that hotel guest satisfaction declined by 2.7% during that time.
Respondents rated specific reasons for their dissatisfaction, and the most common of them were:
Many of the top reasons for upset hotel guests have clear links to staff shortages: long stays at call centers or short, overworked employees.
The US does not have a national heating standard for workers. Advocates say it could save the lives of agricultural, construction, kitchen and factory workers.
Maybe you can attribute the reduced quality of hotel amenities to reduced hours, amenities that aren’t cleaned, or staff-heavy offerings, such as kids’ clubs and pool parties.
The hotel’s breakfast buffet was largely put on hold, which was essential because of social distancing efforts, and also because the reduced staff made it difficult to refill and clean messy buffet counters. Instead, most hotels that previously offered free all-you-can-eat breakfasts have switched to simple brown bag meals.
in many hotels, housekeeping has been reduced From everyday service, and sometimes not at all—save for changing rooms between guests. That’s why guests have piles full of trash and force them to do their own thing (like make their own bed), something people feel they shouldn’t do on vacation.
Hotels have responded to labor shortages in a positive way
Tough times often provoke opportunity to thrive – and many hotels have done just that. ACSI found three aspects of the hotel experience that improved from 2021 to 2022:
Two of those three improvements are about hotel apps. Third, ease of check-in is also tied to technology, as most apps now let you bypass the front desk and check in via your phone.
Several major brands, including Hilton HLT
and Marriott March,
Allows you to use your phone as a digital key on most properties. Hyatt’s digital keys work on Apple AAPL,
watch too. Hilton lets you choose the exact room you want up to 24 hours before check-in.
And better apps aren’t just tech-related improvements. Some hotels are replacing room service with take-forward options, including partnerships with food delivery companies. Others are installing high-end vending machines capable of serving fresh food inside their lobbies, allowing guests to access the food at any time of the day.
be sure to These are the airlines with the most delays and cancellations
What to expect from hotel stays of the future
While there is potential for technology to evolve in hotels, there is hope for human employees as well. AHLA expects hiring to return. Problem? It does not anticipate staffing levels to catch on until at least 2024.
But for trips between now and then, be mindful of your expectations. Understand that things may move a little slower and the amenities may not be up to the mark you’re used to. That said, there are a few things you can do to make your hotel stay better.
First, attain elite status. whereas elite status benefits Varying by level and exact property, they can mean free meals and room upgrades. Even the lower tiers give you access to members-only check-in lines or get you to a dedicated customer service number with shorter hold times.
And no, you don’t need to live out of suitcases to enjoy elite status. This is often provided automatically to some hotel credit card holders – even if you’ve never stayed at that hotel before.
See: Four travel card perks that may no longer be worth it
Second, it never hurts to ask. Some facilities, such as housekeeping, are often not advertised or not already offered, but may still be provided upon request. And instead of getting bad reviews later, hotels with fewer staff can appreciate the opportunity to make it right.
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Sally French writes for NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @SAFmedia.
Credit: www.marketwatch.com /