Florida will Reopen Hotels with Specific Safety Guidance
Hotels in Palm Beach County, Florida, were allowed to reopen on May 15, according to USA Today.
On May 15, rooms in The Ben, West Palm Beach’s newest boutique hotel, were reserved by guests. The Ben’s general manager, Bernardo Neto, said that “more than 20 rooms were booked the weekend of May 15-17.”
"Without a doubt, it’s been Palm Beach County residents", Neto said.
As the No.1 in Florida and and No.2 industry in Palm Beach County, the revenue of the county’s tourism has been cut by $20 million this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In Palm Beach County, about 60,000 tourism-related positions have been affected. Estimates by Glenn Jergensen, executive director of the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council, predict the county’s unemployment in the tourism industry will be about 30% to 40%.
To make guests feel safe and prevent virus transmission, hoteliers have implemented new rules, including the heavy use of technology, social distancing in public spaces, increased use of outdoor spaces, and masks and gloves worn by hotel staff.
The director of sales and marketing of the Hilton West Palm Beach, Derrick Steinour, said the hotel’s Galley restaurant “has spilled out into the resort-style courtyard outside”. The hotel’s cabanas are also used as private outdoor dining spots, Steinour said.
As hotels are increasing the use of outdoor spaces, some have an advantage, such as Crane’s hotels that feature open-air walkways and no interior halls.
The chief executive of Discover the Palm Beaches, Jorge Pesquera, said the traveler information hub provides videos from hospitality partners showing “the actions people are taking, instead of writing procedures”. “People can sense the level of detail going in to keep hotel rooms and public areas clean and sanitized,” Pesquera said.