SEOUL, South Korea, Aug. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Travel industry is moving fast as travel expectations rise, striving to meet customers' post-pandemic needs for stricter hygiene and safety, and provide services accordingly. Under these circumstances, global precautionary measures taken by LOTTE HOTELS&RESORTS, Korea's largest hotel group are drawing attention.
International travels had been blocked for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but now shows some signs of resume. According to the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) on August 10th (local time), number of people screened at airports stands around daily 2 million recently, which is 80 percent of that in 2019. The figure represents a three to four times increase compared to 2020. Considering that international flights have yet to be normalized, domestic flights seem to have almost come back to normal.
David Shenman, Director of Sales & Marketing at LOTTE NEW YORK PALACE noted that "the U.S. has eased self-quarantine regulations on business travelers, and from culture to the rest businesses are returning to normal." Moreover, Joon Huh, the deputy general manager of LOTTE HOTEL SEATTLE said, "In particular, Seattle, where the vaccination rate hit 70%, saw travel demand surging around Memorial Day in May. Moreover, with surging demand of summer holidays, hotels in the U.S. have hit the highest occupancy rate since October 2019, thus we are actually feeling travel recovery."
- Preemptive measures based on 40 years hotel management know-how
In January last year, LOTTE HOTELS&RESORTS promptly established COVID-19 countermeasures. Preemptive actions such as thermal imaging camera installation and checking body temperature with non-contact thermometers of all guests entering the hotel were carried out. The entire process was put into a manual which was distributed to all chain hotels. It was part of the hotel's efforts to curb the spread of the virus and enhance safety of guests.
The actions taken by LOTTE HOTELS&RESORTS stands out in the U.S., where travel is considered relatively safe. LOTTE NEW YORK PALACE, also known as the "Second White House" for accommodating the U.S. president and other prominent figures, has also overhauled its service to respond to COVID-19.
The hotel first sought advice on hotel operation from Dr. Robert Amler, one of the top public health experts in the U.S. The hotel brought in ultraviolet sterilizer that removes germs in the air and sterilized all rooms, providing safer space for relaxation. Also offered was housekeeping service that meets the safety standards of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Individual guest demands were reflected additionally, establishing preventive system that exceeds global standards.
Furthermore "A Room of Your Own", a promotion which actively reflected the needs of pandemic-era, had drawn big attention. Rooms are designated for long-term guests and are kept vacant even when the guest is not staying over. It was considered innovative since contacting with others could be completely blocked unless otherwise would have used the same rooms. It also increased convenience by allowing guests to keep their personal items in the designated rooms.
For LOTTE HOTEL SEATTLE, world's top-level hygiene standard was implemented by double-sterilizing rooms with special disinfectant just before guests check-in, where other preventive measures had already been taken. Personal protective equipment including masks and hand sanitizers were provided as amenities as well. The hotel's efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 earned it the world's first "Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED® certification" from Forbes Travel Guide for hotels with high hygiene regulations and technology.
The "Re-Do" promotion was also noted as signature service of the pandemic era, as it includes wedding at the Sanctuary, America's first United Methodist Church, targeting those who had to cancel weddings. In less than a year since the opening, LOTTE HOTEL SEATTLE was chosen among "10 Best New Hotels" by the USA Today, the only hotel in the western U.S.. In Tripadvisor guest reviews, LOTTE HOTEL SEATTLE topped among 188 hotels in the city, receiving the credit in the U.S. hospitality market.
Meanwhile, LOTTE HOTELS & RESORTS now operates 32 hotels and resorts in seven countries. With its Korean style hospitality service and brand portfolio, the hotel group satisfies the needs of various travelers – premium landmark hotel "SIGNIEL," classic upper upscale "LOTTE HOTELS," lifestyle hotel "L7 HOTELS," business-optimized "LOTTE City Hotels" and "LOTTE Resort" for family travelers.