Post Pandemic: The New Normal
According to Ghada, “With the pandemic, hospitality has noticeably transformed, and guests’ behaviour has changed, which has had a significant impact on the service business across the globe.” Here, Accor’s ability to continuously evolve to adapt to various challenges in different aspects has poised them to be able to define the new normal for the industry. Accor has implemented the global ALLSafe Cleanliness and Prevention Label at Accor properties across the Middle East and Africa, ensuring valued guests and team members that they will always be looked after with the highest degree of safety, care, and comfort. Ghada shares, “With the changes and uncertainty of time, our hotel has kept up with the momentum and continuous developments were in place from recovery, implementation of the health and safety protocols, to strongly focusing on on-line visibility, reputation, and social media management. As Heartists, we are passionate by profession and masters at transforming our guests’ experiences into memorable moments. We embrace the ever-changing needs of guests and remain consistent with our service approach—warm and personal and never compromising on quality and authenticity.” Health and sanitary measures, new operational standards were set and implemented that were developed in partnership with hygiene solutions specialist Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing, inspections, and certification. Accor also provides free health support with AXA, including access to medical professionals and consultations by phone or on location. They have also given hands-on training to all employees, created a dedicated on-property rollout committee, and implemented a formal audit program, validated under the global ALLSAFE Cleanliness label, ensuring initial and continued compliance. They have designated specially trained ‘ALL Safe Officers’ to oversee all hotel cleaning operations, preventative measures, and guest inquiries. Furthermore, they prioritised the placement of physical distancing marks throughout the hotel and dining outlets, with masks provided to guests and worn by all employees and changed every four hours.
Accor has also been at the forefront of utilizing technology to its full potential with the usage of Accor centralized applications like RESAWEB for room bookings, combined with Cloud Application for Opera Cloud PMS, Barracuda backup, and Simphony Cloud POS. They use QR code applications for virtual restaurant and in-room dining menus. Face detection for time and attendance application, digital media board for guests and staff information, pre-arrival email for online check-in and whatsapp for business communication tool, reputation management of guest reviews, hotel ranking, and engagement on all kinds of social media platforms (OTA), Online Travel Agency, Google My Business, TripAdvisor, Booking.com. Expedia, Agoda, Hotels.com, and others are other technological innovations that are utilized by the brand. This is combined with effective digital marketing channels to drive business and brand retention through SEO and hotel websites, along with social media platforms and constant offers, rewards, benefits, and exceptional events from Accor’s lifestyle loyalty program, ALL (Accor Live Limitless).