As the hospitality industry tries to reshape with the steady come back post COVID-19, many are questioning what would luxury properties do to gain back their traction. Many also wonder whether they will have to adopt stricter operation measures to sustain and kick off back their activities, knowing that the pandemic has shifted the whole offer and demand formula. HN spoke to Mehdi Zaanoun, general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca to know more insights.
How do you think the concept of luxury properties will morph after COVID-19
Safety, privacy, and comfort have always been top priorities among hotel guests, and this will be even more important in the post COVID-19 environment. In the new normal, we’re also seeing increased interest in remote destinations, seclusion, privacy and outdoor experiences. While the Four Seasons experience may look different in this new environment, it will ultimately feel the same – our dedicated people will continue to deliver the same intuitive service and personalized care for which we are known.
Do you think the MENA will keep up its demand for luxury hospitality?
As we look to recovery across the Middle East, we are extremely appreciative of the stringent efforts of all regional governments and healthcare authorities in helping to combat the pandemic, adopting rigorous testing as a key component of their strategies. This is working to support recovery across the region, from both a health and economic standpoint. We have witnessed how quickly and effectively the region has adapted to recent challenges and we are optimistic about the future.
Who will be the guests seeking luxury properties and how will their demand change?
In the post COVID-19 era, luxury hospitality companies will have to break away from a one-size fits all approach and focus on curating one-of-a-kind experiences that appeal to loyal guests and newcomers alike.
How are you planning on adapting your offering?
Four Seasons recently launched ‘Lead With Care’, our enhanced health and safety program aimed at providing confidence, comfort and care to all of our employees, guests and residents. Lead With Care kits are placed in each guest room, providing masks, hand sanitizer and sanitation wipes. Physical distancing measures are embedded in all services, including appropriately spaced fitness equipment, modified spa menu and housekeeping services, and contactless check-in. Additionally, our restaurants are operating at reduced capacity to ensure physically distant set-up, with digital menus available wherever possible. In-room dining, using sustainable, single-use packaging is also offered with contactless delivery. Within this new environment, the Four Seasons App and Four Seasons Chat remain a key part of our service experience. As one of the only industry platforms powered by real people versus chatbots, our award-winning App and Chat will further allow guests to control how they engage with our employees – limiting face-to-face interactions while maintaining the highest levels of Four Seasons service that our guests know and love. With instant translation in 100+ languages, guests have the ability to make and manage reservations, request luggage pickup, airport transfers, restaurant and spa reservations, in-room dining, and wait-free check-in / check-out.
How will the services you offer be affected?
Although face-to-face interactions may be more limited, we will remain as connected as ever to our guests. Mobile-first technology like the Four Seasons App and Chat will continue to be an important part of our new reality, providing a contactless and controlled experience that doesn’t compromise our signature service.
Where do you see the industry in the next five years?
We will see the demand for business and leisure travel increase respective to the recovery of international travel worldwide. The new normal in our industry will be marked by evolving customer expectations for hygiene and flexibility. The luxury hospitality business will have to adapt to this new reality with a focused view toward consumer behavior and trends. As a company, we have already made great strides in this direction with the launch of Lead With Care, our enhanced global health and safety program, and we will continue to build from the trust and loyalty that we have developed with our global guest base over many years.Add to Favorites