Hospitality is about physical and emotional intimacy. As a guest in a hotel, you are ready for the hotel staff to ask you a dozen times “is everything fine”?, and “are you comfortable?”. At restaurants, the waiters and even chefs will walk up to your table, bend down on their knees, and ask if the food was tasty, and exotic herbs were okay. During room service in some places, the staff hovers around for a few minutes to place the cutlery and food where you want, and to receive their customary tips. Those times, they are gone now. Welcome to the new post-COVID concept of hospitality, which will be touch-less and contact-less. While you, as a guest, may don just a mask and wear gloves, most of the staff will appear in proper PPE kits, remain as distant from you as possible, and talk minimally. A new hospitality culture will gain ground in the near future that will aim to spread warmth and care, enhance pleasure and passion, even as those who are responsible for it remain largely invisible or hidden.
Business strategies will radically transform. As hotels and resorts accommodate fewer visitors, reduce the number of tables in restaurants, and disinfect rooms for 24-48 hours before they are re-allotted, the revenue-and-profit models will change. More so because there will be need to keep a check on tariffs, and even reduce them. Costs will go up due to a larger number of health, safety and hygiene protocols. Buffets, parties, marriages, and business events—the money churners—will bring in lesser revenues.