Picture this: You are on vacation with your family. The hotel you are staying at seems excellent: the staff is friendly, the atmosphere is warm, and the scenery is gorgeous. There is a lot to see and do. You head to the hotel gym one morning for a quick workout before you take off to explore the town. At the gym reception, you are greeted by a friendly face, and they ask you to sign in on a small piece of paper. Nothing much, just your name, the room you are staying at, and your date of birth.
After a fantastic day out, you return to your room, only to discover that you had been robbed while you were out. Does not sound like a lot of fun, and of course this is a made-up story for this article. Or is it not? Let us have a deeper look...
The old way of doing Things
As you have probably noticed, you must sign or register on a piece of paper before you can use most hotel gyms (especially in the United States). Typically, you have to sign in with your name and write down what room you are staying at. In some cases, you also have to fill in more sensitive information such as your phone number and birth date.
In most cases, we have to sign in for liability reasons and agree with the facility's rules before using it – and that's fair. Plus, with the growing COVID-19 pandemic, these sign-ins can help track people in case of a positive tested hotel guest or staff. So, what is the problem?
Why Signing into a piece of paper might not be the best Idea.
The most apparent problem with this type of sign-in is that information is typically not protected in any way and is visible to all gym visitors. Even if you are signing in with your names and room number, that can still be an issue.
A few decades ago, if someone knew your names, they could not do much with the information. Thanks to our world's rapid digitalization, we now need to become more vigilant and protect our personal information.
Here is a scenario: You write your name and room number on the piece of paper. Later that day, one of your kids posts numerous pictures of your whole family doing something in town. Those photos are public, and you are tagged.
Thanks to the gym sign-in form, two stalkers learn what room you are staying at. Thanks to the social media post, they see that you are out, and your room is empty. This is a perfect opportunity to use information against you and rob your place while they know that you are out. Sadly, such scenarios are much more common than most people imagine.
Aside from that, having to put sensitive information on a piece of paper is not GDPR compliant. What if the list is taken or gets lost? This is not troublesome just for you as a guest. It can also lead to problems for gym and hotel owners.
Out with the old, in with the new…
The objective is clear: move away from the old and unreliable methods and find a better alternative. A fantastic solution to this potential problem is to move sign-in forms into a digital format. For example, it can be as simple as scanning a QR code and then registering online. That way, any information you write in is safe and protected from prying eyes.
What is even better about such a solution is that it can also work during the COVID-19 pandemic to collect more data and keep track of gym visitors much better. We at HotelGyms.com, are providing a different approach and help hotels to digitally transform their hotel gyms. As a first, we are releasing such an online solution to address this problem:
All of this can help create an online solution that allows you to focus on what really matters - the workout. Are you interested? Get in touch with us, and we are more than happy to share more details.