After an immobilising year for the hotel sector, hope is beginning to return as the UK reopens and a growing number of people look forward to their summer staycations. However, justified concerns remain with new variants spreading, and the ever-looming possibility of new restrictions being introduced which will prevent hotels from operating at full capacity. Additionally, it is understandable that the public may be hesitant to travel and pay for accommodation, especially amongst large crowds in unventilated hotels.
An important, yet often overlooked, factor within the hotel industry and service sector in general in keeping customers safe is air quality. Combatting indoor air pollution is essential in preventing the spread of diseases, our general health, and in providing a better service to our customers. The need for improved air is paramount, and now is the time for hotel owners and industry leaders to adapt and make proactive changes to the sector.
Hotels offer us more than just a place to stay. They offer us a space where we can gather with friends, family and colleagues to celebrate special moments and events together. Yet, given the fact that Covid-19 can linger in the air for hours after the original source has been removed, it is unsurprising that a growing number of studies have shown indoor environments, like hotels and restaurants, that lack proper ventilation poses a significant risk of transmission.
Air quality has now become so important, that the UK Government has outlined plans to make the installation of ventilation systems mandatory in indoor public spaces. Moreover, leading health authorities such as the World Health Organisation, are advising businesses to improve ventilation and sterilise air through filtration that meets the European Standard EN 1822 (HEPA test) as a minimum. Our experience has taught us that not all technology is as effective or efficient enough to ensure the optimal indoor air quality. Through embracing innovative air quality monitoring and management systems, hotel owners can far surpass the European HEPA Standard EN 1822 for clean air with OKTOair.
For example, OKTOair uses world-leading technology for our filtration solutions – created in conjunction with the US military in combating germ warfare our advanced technology filters and eradicates ultrafine particulate matter to 0.007 micron, far smaller than COVID-19. Ground-breaking DFS technology kills 99.99% ultrafine particulate matter and pathogens, certified better than the European HEPA Standard EN 1822 and has proven 100% efficiency with reduced energy usage.
Filtration that is chemical and ozone free permanently removes and kills ultrafine particles from any indoor space with scalable solutions from 500 sq.ft to 1 million sq.ft – we can transform the safety of your hotel’s air, protecting both staff and guests. By taking these positive steps, hotels will drastically mitigate the transmission and spread of the disease, and in turn, help build trust among customers that travelling is safe.
More generally, improved air quality has a multitude of health benefits. For guests or staff suffering from allergies such as hay fever, clean indoor air provides the necessary remedy our bodies require. By cleaning the air, individuals will be less exposed to pollutants or airborne allergens and therefore less likely to become ill, helping to improve customer visits and the service which can be offered by staff.
Moreover, studies show that increased exposure to air pollution is linked to a significant rise in stress, anxiety, and depression as well as increasing the risk of adverse health outcomes such as respiratory infections, heart disease and lung cancer. This coupled with the fact that enhanced workspace ventilation can safeguard staff from airborne illnesses, equates to happier, healthier staff, increased productivity and less likely to need to take sick leave and overall able to provide a better service to customers.
As a hotelier, the most fundamental goal is to provide the best service possible and make guests feel as if they are at home. It goes without saying that customers expect a clean bedroom and bathroom not to mention clean water, so why would they not expect clean air? Filtered and temperature-controlled air can also prevent and eliminate odours by ensuring many germs, moulds, and pollutants from entering or developing indoors, providing a superior guest experience and resulting in a better night’s sleep.
This is something that guests will be looking for in the future, especially now the pandemic has changed us all forever. We have new priorities and our health matters. We expect the air we breathe to be clean, fresh and healthy and very soon there will be no escaping air quality monitoring. Advances in technology mean guests will be able to monitor indoor air quality with apps on their smartphone and could leave reviews based on air quality – your online reputation could be directly influenced by your indoor air quality.
Air quality management remains a far too often overlooked factor within the hotel industry, yet the pandemic has shone some much-needed light on this topic. Air quality management should not only be viewed as a preventative tool, but one that can help improve the overall service and experience for visitors and guests. OKTOair’s Air Quality Management Systems are unique with the ability to provide peace of mind and reassurance to hoteliers and their guests.
We provide full air quality management systems throughout hotels, for all spaces to give hotel guests and staff confidence that they are in a safe, healthy environment. Our systems monitor and control the air quality both indoors and outdoors – virtually taking action based on what is needed. The system will decide whether to bring in fresh air to circulate or clean and disinfect the air. See the results in real-time on the dashboard.
At OKTOair we believe in prioritising wellness and helping hoteliers create outstanding guest experiences. With ongoing concerns about how individuals can visit and stay in indoor places, it is vital that hotels consider the importance of clean air and take proactive steps by embracing new technologies in order to safeguard their visitors and staff.
By Philip Dowds, founder of smart buildings specialists OKTO Technologies. For almost 30 years, OKTO has been providing clients with Smart Building solutions, including the safest and most efficient air cleaning systems, achieved through OKTOair’s patented advance monitoring system and AI-enhanced disinfecting filtration technology. Find out more at https://oktoair.com/
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