After a long year, it’s safe to assume that many of us are looking forward to being able to travel freely once again, be it for business or leisure. Not surprisingly, the pandemic put an abrupt stop to most people’s travel plans in 2020. In a survey conducted by Trustpilot, 65% of all travelers surveyed said that they did not travel internationally at all in 2020. However, the same survey shows that nearly half of the respondents (47%) expect to travel internationally in 2021. This could indicate that people are getting ready to - and trust that it’s possible to - get back to traveling more in 2021 compared to 2020.
At the same time, however, three quarters (74%) of the respondents stated that they plan on spending more time deciding on a destination, 72% will look more into the selection of accommodation before deciding on a place to stay during their trip. This suggests that while people are starting to be able to - and are interested in - traveling more, they pay a lot more attention to where they’re staying - possibly to ensure the hygiene and safety measures of the places they will visit.
One thing is finding out where to stay on your trip, but with many trips starting at the airport, it should be a priority to make sure that travelers feel safe from the moment they step into the airport to the moment they arrive at their destination. With COVID-19 still being on top of everyone’s minds and social distancing still being a priority, places like airports have to prepare for a whole new “normal”. Thus, in this blog we offer you three ways that our MapsIndoors solution can prepare airport management for safe post-COVID traveling.
More than just a map, MapsIndoors is a dynamic mapping platform designed to elevate the navigation experience as you know it. This includes features like turn-by-turn navigation, dynamic integrations that can show real-time data, heat-mapping, and much more to efficiently guide you through even the most complex of buildings.
#1. Control people flow with heat-mapping
With a MapsIndoors solution, facility management will be able to detect large gatherings of people in one place via heat-mapping. This can be used to identify crowds and motion patterns that could potentially turn into bottlenecks at busy spots like security check, check-in desks, and passport control. A feature like this allows management to be able to relocate staff and send in additional personnel for busy tasks before the crowds grow too big.
However, this is not only useful for spots that tend to get busy during peak hours. The MapsIndoors indoor navigation platform and content management system not only allows people to navigate large and complex buildings, it also offers various additional features to help management avoid dangerous situations.
If your airport has people counting sensors and implement the use of notifications to your existing app, both travelers and staff can be warned about spots where a large crowd is forming directly via the app. For employees, this means that it’s possible to quickly allocate additional staff to an area to clear out the crowd, while guests through push notifications can be navigated around the area instead of through it.
#2. Optimize cleaning management
Clean facilities are a must when thousands of people visit the airport on a daily basis. With third party integrations based on real-time data, facility management can reach new heights. On the MapsIndoors platform, you can implement integrations to IoT devices to, for instance, notify staff whenever a certain amount of guests have used a restroom. This way, employees can quickly be allocated to the area that needs the most cleaning at that moment and thus optimize facility management.
By implementing IoT sensors to different assets in restrooms, it will be possible to keep an overview of the use of soap dispensers, lighting, and paper towel dispensers and quickly refill or fix these if needed.
#3. Enable guests to assess and reduce wait time
By now, no one probably has to be reminded of what social distancing means, and we most likely will have to keep it in mind for a long time still. But with airports being busy venues all day every day, how can travelers themselves be encouraged to do what they can to avoid long queues and crowds?
Allow travelers to - in real time - check if there are empty seats at the restaurant they want to visit and make it possible for them to book a table and order food before reaching it. All of this can be done directly via the app just by a click on the restaurant on the map. This way travelers can make sure they won’t end up going to a restaurant that’s already fully occupied and instead find alternatives.
While the main goal is to ensure travelers’ safety, the ability to allow users to reduce the amount of wait time might also benefit the airport’s non-aeronautical revenue streams, which is something we’ve previously visited in our blog about airport management. Research shows that passengers who spend extra 10 minutes queuing spend 30% less on retail and food items. And while it seems unlikely that we’ll be able to get rid of queues completely in the coming years, empowering guests with the technology to manage their options and time is definitely a way to minimize wait time and maximize revenue opportunities.
Airports have to prepare for a future where the pandemic will continue to be at the back of everyone’s minds, but by optimizing location and facility management, ensuring travelers’ as well as staff’s safety will be a much more manageable task.
Are you ready to let MapsIndoors optimize your facility management? We’ll be happy to tell you more about what we can offer, so don’t hesitate to reach out today.