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[Update] Covid 19: healthcare issues will be crucial to recovery

How can we make businesses based on service, businesses where the customer is invited to sleep at your home, businesses where profitability depends for some on the volume of customers, safer from a health point of view? Professionals have been addressing this question since the beginning of the Covid 19 crisis. New sanitary programmes from hoteliers.

Reinsurance of customers will be key to a recovery in tourism activity. In addition to the economic aspects, professionals must also be concerned about health aspects. Within a few weeks, they need to draw up strict hygiene rules to limit the spread of viruses in common and private areas.

Hotel groups take the initiative

“Stay With Peace of Mind” programme by Anantara

The brand and its 41 hotels across Asia, the Middle East, Indian Ocean, Africa and Europe has created a Health & Safety committee with senior leadership and industry experts to implement the new programme. Each Anantara property will have a "Guest guardian" responsible for internal audits to make sure that internal guidelines are respected. Electrostatic spray technology as well as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved disinfectants wil be used to clean the areas. Restaurants and bars will comply with physical distances. Personnal shopping will be available for cutomers as well as private limousine transfer form airports.
A work il also done to implement next generation air purifiers witihin the heating and air conditionning systems.

"On s'engage" (we comit) by BWH Hotel Group®

"From the very first days of this health crisis, we measured the impact that it would have on our sector and its numerous impacts on customer relations.  That's why we strengthened and rethought many internal processes and reviewed the entire customer journey in the hotel. As a result, 10 new procedures have been introduced. In order to ensure their implementation, we provided support and training to all the member hotels of our network." Says Olivier Cohn, managing director France about the process.

  • "We are committed to your protection"
  • "We are committed to offering an accommodation that is adapted to market conditions"
  • "We are committed to making you dream again" 
  • "We are committed to sustainable tourism" 
  • and the promise "We're all in this together" 

Commitment to Clean by Choice Hotels

"The health and safety of our guests, franchisees and their employees is always top of mind for Choice," said Patrick Pacious, president and chief executive officer, Choice Hotels. "The Commitment to Clean initiative bolsters existing best practice guidance, with enhancements advanced throughout the COVID-19 crisis, as our franchisees continue to provide accommodations for thousands of first responders, and frontline and essential workers. As our nation starts to re-open and the public resumes travel, we want guests to know that Choice-branded hotels are prepared to welcome them back."

The commitment concerns :

"Protocols

  • Heightened cleaning protocols for high-traffic areas 
  • Furniture arrangements designed to encourage appropriate social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • Housekeeping "on-demand" option that allows guests to request delivery of additional toiletries, towels, linens or coffee without having a housekeeper enter the room.
  • Changes in breakfast with pre-packaged breakfast items.

Products

  • Design enhancements to help facilitate contactless check-in and check-out
  • "Clean seals" on certain high-touch items in guest rooms 
  • Personal protective equipment for hotel staff
  • Hand sanitizing stations located in high-traffic areas throughout the hotel

Communications

  • On-property signage and decals reiterating CDC social distancing guidelines, personal sanitation guidelines and the importance of surface cleaning.
  • Communications from front desk staff to guests about precautions taken for their safety and comfort, and reminders about additional safeguards available at guests' choosing."

Radisson Hotels Safety Protocole

“At Radisson Hotel Group, we are committed to delivering a clean and safe environment for our guests and team members. The world has been fundamentally changed by COVID-19 so it is key that we strive to protect all who work, stay and partner with us as we re-open our doors to a new era of travel. To do this we have thoroughly examined all areas of the hotel experience, and we are proud to have partnered with SGS to create our Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol program.” says Federico J. González, CEO, Radisson Hospitality AB and Chairman of Radisson Hotel Group’s Global Steering Committee.

The plan focuses on the following topics :

  • "Increased cleaning and disinfection frequency of all hotel areas, paying special attention to high-touch items
  • Stations installed with alcohol-based hand sanitizer and gloves at the front entrance and hotel public areas
  • All room keys disinfected and presented safely upon check-in
  • Express check-out process available for guests to minimize contact
  • Cash-free methods of payments available and encouraged
  • Door hangers displayed with cleaning and disinfection procedures in each room
  • Comprehensive hygiene and preventions training programs for team members
  • Team members provided with Personal Protective Equipment"

Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment by Hyatt Hotels Corporation

“The world as we knew it has been fundamentally changed by COVID-19 and when we are all ready to travel again, we want to make sure that every Hyatt colleague and guest feels confident that each aspect of our commitment is designed with their safety in mind, and that we’re putting their wellbeing first. To do this, we must critically examine the hotel experience from every vantage point – from our rooms and our lobbies to our spas and dining – bringing in the latest research, technology and innovation to make that happen. Hyatt’s Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment is an important expression of our purpose to care for people so they can be their best – now and in the future.” said Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO, Hyatt

An ambitious plan with :

Commitment to GBAC STARTM accreditation including detailed training for all the hotels operated under Hyatt brand.

A daily colleague surveys to monitor their wellbeing .

New operational guidance and protocols such as :

  • Colleague certification, trainings and recertification process for hygiene and cleanliness
  • Increased frequency of cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants on all high-touch surfaces, guestrooms and shared spaces  
  • Implementation of enhanced food safety and hygiene protocols for restaurants, room service and group meetings and events
  • Prominently placed hand sanitizer stations throughout hotel public and employee areas and entrances
  • Purification and sanitization device installation in an effort to ensure enhanced air quality
  • Protective masks and other equipment for hotel colleagues
  • Social distancing guidance in public areas across hotel properties

Cross-Functional Panel of Industry Experts and Professionals

Information on April 28

On April 17, the Accor group announced that it was working on a health label in conjunction with a certification office for accommodation and restaurants. The work carried out with the UMIH, the GNC and the GNI (French hotel syndicates) has been passed on to the Alliance France Tourisme and the Comité de Filière Tourisme. On April 21, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne announced the appointment of Accor Group CEO Sébastien Bazin to take charge of a national standard, charter or label on this issue.
For Franck Gervais, CEO Europe of the group: "As a leader in hospitality in Europe, we must anticipate needs and respond with the highest standards to health and safety issues."

B&B Hotels has also been working on a certification reference system "This will enable us to display our disinfection and decontamination conditions in all our properties and to welcome our customers in complete safety", said Vincent Quandalle, the group's Western Europe Director.

Marriott International's CEO Arne Sorenson said: "We want our guests to understand what we are doing today and planning for in the near future in the areas of cleanliness, hygiene and social distancing so that when they walk through the doors of one of our hotels, they know our commitment to their health and safety is our priority. It’s equally important to us that our associates know the changes we are making to help safeguard their health as they serve our guests." He announced the creation of the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council. The official announcement states, "The Council is chaired by Ray Bennett, Chief Global Officer, Global Operations, Marriott International, and will benefit from knowledge and input from both in-house and outside experts including senior leaders from across Marriott disciplines like housekeeping, engineering, food safety, occupational health and associate wellbeing. " Work will also focus on the development of new technologies for the disinfection of surfaces and common areas.

Detailed measures announced by Marriott :

  • "Electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize surfaces throughout the hotel. 
  • In public spaces, the company has added to its already rigorous cleaning protocols, requiring that surfaces are thoroughly treated with hospital-grade disinfectants and that this cleaning is done with increased frequency.
  • In guest rooms, the company has likewise added to its rigorous protocols, requiring that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned with hospital-grade disinfectants.
  • Marriott will also be placing disinfecting wipes in each room for guests’ personal use.
  • The company will be using signage in its lobbies to remind guests to maintain social distancing protocols and removing or re-arranging furniture to allow more space for distancing.
  • Marriott is also evaluating adding partitions at front desks to provide an extra level of precaution for our guests and associates and is working with supply chain partners to make masks and gloves available to associates.
  • The company is installing more hand sanitizing stations at the entrances to its hotels, near the front desk, elevator banks and fitness and meeting spaces.
  • In addition, in over 3,200 of Marriott’s hotels, guests can choose to use their phones to check in, access their rooms, make special requests and order room service that will be specially packaged and delivered right to the door without contact.
  • Marriott’s food safety program includes enhanced sanitation guidelines and training videos for all operational associates that includes hygiene and disinfecting practices. "

Hilton Worldwide is launching new health standards in June. The work will cover both cleaning protocols and staff training. The company already states that it uses products for hospital disinfection. Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO says, "Our first priority has always been the safety of our guests and Team Members." Hilton CleanStay is being developed in conjunction with an infection control clinic.

Detailed propositions by Hilton :

  • "Hilton CleanStay Room Seal: Add an extra measure of assurance by placing a room seal on doors to indicate to guests that their room has not been accessed since being thoroughly cleaned. 
  • 10 High-Touch, Deep Clean Areas: Extra disinfection of the most frequently touched guests room areas – light switches, door handles, TV remotes, thermostats and more. 

Hilton Touch Deep Clean Areas

  • De-clutter Paper Amenities: Remove pen, paper and guest directory; supplement with digital or available upon request. 
  • Focus on Fitness Centers: Improved guidelines for disinfecting the hotel Fitness Center, possibly closing for cleaning multiple times daily and limiting the number of guests allowed in at one time. 
  • Clean and Clean Again: Increase the frequency of cleaning public areas. 
  • Guest-Accessible Disinfecting Wipes: Provide stations at primary entrances and key high traffic areas, for instance, a station to allow guests to wipe the elevator button before pressing. 
  • Contactless Check-In: Hilton will double-down on its award-winning Digital Key technology for guests who desire to have a contactless arrival experience. Guests can check-in, choose their room, access their room with a digital room key and check-out using their mobile devices through the Hilton Honors mobile app at participating hotels. Hilton will continue to expand its Digital Key capabilities to common doors and access points throughout the hotels. 
  • Innovative Disinfection Technologies: Hilton is exploring the addition of new technologies, like electrostatic sprayers – which use an electrostatically charged disinfecting mist – and ultraviolet light to sanitize surfaces and objects."

Akéna Hotels has also set up work with a cleaning professional and is making available to its hotel colleagues its health charter. The properties under Akéna Hotel brands will have the possibility to undergo a health inspection every quarter with a detailed report of the visit issued. (Complete charter in French )

Health charter by Akéna Hotels

Compliance with health rules in the workplace :

  • Implementation of new working arrangements incorporating health protection measures (allocation of rooms, distribution of tasks, circulation, preparation of equipment, etc.). 
  •  Employees are informed of the new working arrangements.
  • Guests are informed of the new procedures implemented and they must participate in certain acts (possibility of putting towels in a container provided for this purpose in the room or outside, opening the room window before leaving it...).
  • The cleaning trolley is prepared with hydroalcoholic gel and nothing is forgotten to avoid unnecessary movement and limit the risk of contact with a colleague or client.
  • As far as possible, one trolley and work equipment is allocated per employee. If this is not possible, make sure to decontaminate the trolley at the end of the shift.
  • Preparation of the cleaning plan according to the configuration of the property or floors: 

Staff protection:

  • Protect through the wearing of adequate personal protective equipment and work clothes
  • Training of staff on the following topics:
    • An introduction to microbiology to fully understand the contaminations and their control.
    • A presentation of the different types of detergents and disinfectants.
    • Knowledge and control of the principles of cleanliness: dosage, pH, action time and detergent and disinfectant techniques.

Guest protection. Customers are expected to respect the following rules :

  • Accept the possibility of a "transparent barrier" between the receptionist and them
  • Accept the idea that the sleeping room should not be cleaned
  • Open the window when they leave to anticipate the ventilation of the room
  • Respect the safety distances
  • Disinfect their hands with the hydroalcoholic gel provided.

Management of common areas

  • The car park is the first point of contact between the client and the property. It is necessary to display visuals with pictograms on the classic barrier gestures.
  • The reception hall: installation of at least one non-contact hydroalcoholic gel dispenser, preferably with precise instructions for use. Virucidal wipes are also recommended. Marking on the ground, social distance markers of at least one metre between two points. Illustrated educational posters must also be visible.
  • Breakfast area (even if closed to the public) and coworking: very spartan layout of the furniture in accordance with the social distance.
  • The lift cabin: must be provided with hydroalcoholic gel and regularly disinfected.
  • The corridors: presence of markings on the ground of the social distance and hydroalcoholic gel available 24 hours a day. The classic educational posters must be completed by instructions prohibiting contact with the floor staff.
  • The self-service drinks and sweets vending machines: must be equipped with disinfecting wipes. Access to the cups must be automated in order to handle only one cup at a time.
  • Meeting room: in the event of meetings in this area, the rules of ergonomics and social distancing from other areas would apply.

Management of bedroom areas (in addition to current process)

  • Ventilate or close the room or close the window if the guest has opened it (avoid draughts)
  • Clean and disinfect with particular care door handles, switches, taps, remote controls and any accessories that may have been touched.
  • Do not shake bedding, curtains, carpets or towels.
  • Avoid facial contact with bedding, towels, or any object that may have come into contact with a customer.
  • Put used sheets and towels in the laundry basket immediately (do not stock up in the corridors). Remove all towels, whether used or not.
  • Ensure strict separation of the flow of clean and dirty linen.
  • Do not store trolleys of soiled linen in premises open to employees. Dirty linen must not be accessible
  • Always use gloves, preferably normal household gloves (thicker than disposable gloves). Gloved hands should be washed between each room, preferably with antiseptic soap
  • Surfaces should be cleaned with a microfibre cloth and detergent. No dry or steam dusting.

Selection of cleaning products 

In the case of the pandemic, and more generally to perfectly control contamination, it is essential to choose the right detergent and disinfectant. in fact, a decontamination operation can only be effective if the surface is perfectly clean. A dirty surface cannot be disinfected. Disinfectants are sometimes only bactericides (only eliminate bacteria) or fungicides (eliminate yeasts). However, Covid-19 is a virus, so the use of this type of product is not sufficient. The product used must be virucidal.

NH Hotels is partnering with a certifying body to develop a hygiene control protocol for the properties under its brands. The NH Collection Barbizon Palace hotel in Amsterdam and the NH Nacional in Madrid, both currently open, will serve as pilot properties for the implementation of these protocols, which cover both cleaning processes and staff training. Ramón Aragonés, CEO of the group said: "In the current context, the Company's main determination is to provide an agile and efficient response to the security needs of travelers and internal teams during the process of hotel activity reactivation."

BritHotel also offers a health charter.

The outdoor hotel industry is not to be outdone

The FNHPA (national fédération for campsites) is launching a health charter to continue the work undertaken upstream with professionals in the outdoor hotel industry. Nicola Dayot, president of the FNHPA, says on this subject: "Our idea is to propose detailed technical solutions that we know can be applied on campsites, even if they are restrictive. This is so that they can be agreed as soon as possible on the validation of one or other of our proposals, as well as on the possibility of being set an opening date between 11 May and 1 July. "Suppliers in the sector are already proposing health charters for some of them.

Yelloh Village is actively working to prepare for a resumption expected at the beginning of July with a complete work on the customer itinerary to envisage all scenarios and anticipate optimal hygiene on site.

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