It’s safe to say that COVID-19 and the pandemic it has caused will probably be with us through the end of the year, meaning that consumers will have to be careful regarding return to hotels, restaurants, retail stores, gyms and salons for the foreseeable future.

The Pew Research Center held a coronavirus-response consumer survey recently, and according to the data that came from it, they found:

  • 79% of U.S. adults are now comfortable going to the grocery store.
  • 53% would feel comfortable going to a hair salon.
  • 44% would feel comfortable eating in a restaurant (dine-in).
  • 23% would feel comfortable at an indoor sporting event.

There are is a variety of different views and attitudes based on party affinity and age, as well as variety of different variables. According to the hospitality vertical, a TripAdvisor survey found that in regards to choosing a hotel:

  • 92% of U.S. adults surveyed said cleanliness is the most important factor in selecting accommodations.
  • 84% said cleanliness or sanitization certificates are important when booking a travel experience.
  • 79% said it’s important to publicly display compliance to government safety standards.

There are new tools coming out of Yelp, TripAdvisor and others who want to assist consumers in navigating this uncertain time, enabling them to “re-enter” the traditional economy with greater confidence. Previously, Yelp had aid that it’ll start highlighting consumer input on “how businesses are handling their health and safety measures.” This and user reviews will remain separate from each other.

Recently, TripAdvisor introduced a “Travel Safe” toolset that allows businesses to highlight health and safety measures on profile pages and provide additional discussion and safety measures on profile pages and provide additional discussion “of the steps they are taking to protect customers, including links back to safety information on their own websites.”

There’s a new filter “properties taking safety measures” (image above). Since there’s a good chance that most consumers are probably going to make use of it, it won’t be good for hotels that don’t participate and will effectively be left out of the consideration set.

Consumers are being prompted by TripAdvisor with a review form to “validate [COVID] safety measures and share their experiences with other travelers.” People planning on being guests can message hotels and business owners directly on the site to ask about COVID-related questions.

SourceGreg Sterling