Hotel buffets could become a casualty of the guest experience when travel resumes. Image: Istock.com/GoodLifeStudio via AFP Relaxnews

Contactless check-in and reduced breakfast buffets are among some of the new measures that will be adopted by Europe’s biggest tour operator, in a strong sign of what’s to come in packaged holiday travel.

Tui Group, which is based in Hannover, Germany and is made up of 1,600 travel agencies, five airlines, 400 hotels and 18 cruise liners, released a 10-point, post-coronavirus plan for its hotel operations in a bid to boost consumer confidence.

“Customer surveys clearly indicate that safety and hygiene will be of paramount importance for holidaymakers after the lockdown,” said Sebastian Ebel, the member of the Group Executive Board responsible for Holiday Experiences in a statement.

“With our Group-wide, integrated health and safety management system, we can ensure that our hotels meet guests’ high expectations and offer the best possible protection against infections during these unusual times. We are laying the foundations for an agile and safe return to business so we can be ready to offer our unique holiday experiences again as soon as possible.”

To minimize contact, online check-in will become widely available via the hotel website or smartphone. Guests will be required to respect physical distancing (1.5 to 2 meters) and tables at hotel restaurants will be spaced accordingly.

To minimize crowds, buffets will also be reduced to a minimum. Sporting events such as soccer tournaments, which call for large teams and close contact will be suspended, but golf and tennis will be maintained.

Rooms will also undergo new enhanced cleaning procedures, and hand sanitizers will be made available throughout its hotels.

Tui Group follows the lead of major hotel groups like Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt which have released new health and sanitation protocols that includes everything from high-tech electrostatic sprayers and partnerships with the makers of Lysol. RGA

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