The American Hotel & Lodging Association and Hilton each announced initiatives this week to advance hotel cleanliness and keep guests and employees safe and healthy. The two join Marriott International and Accor, which recently announced cleanliness efforts to combat COVID-19.
The AHLA launched Safe Stay, an initiative focused on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions and workplace protocols to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19. Safe Stay will seek to change hotel industry norms, behaviors and standards to ensure both hotel guests and employees are confident in the cleanliness and safety of hotels once travel resumes.
“Every hotel guest and employee should know that their health and safety are our top priority,” said Chip Rogers, president/CEO of AHLA. “Safe Stay represents a new level of focus for an industry already built on cleanliness. Hotels have always had rigorous standards for cleaning and safety. With Safe Stay we are enhancing these standards to help create peace of mind. When travel resumes, hotels will be ready to safely welcome back the traveling public.”
AHLA has convened the Safe Stay Advisory Council of industry leaders representing all segments of the hotel industry, who will work in conjunction with public health experts, scientists and medical leaders to develop a series of best practices for the industry, including the following:
Enhanced cleaning standards throughout the hotel, including guest rooms, meeting spaces, common areas, and back-of-house spaces
Superior cleaning products with a greater concentration of bacteria-killing ingredients, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines
Social distancing practices and reducing person-to-person contact
Increased transparency throughout the guest journey
The Safe Stay Advisory Council enhanced guidelines will be released soon.
Council members include representatives from the following hotel companies:
- Aimbridge Hospitality
- Best Western Hotels & Resorts
- Choice Hotels International
- G6 Hospitality
- Hyatt Hotels Corporation
- InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)
- Loews Hotels & Co.
- Marriott International
- My Place Hotels
- Noble Investment Group
- Omni Hotels & Resorts
- Radisson Hotel Group
- Red Lion Hotels Corporation
- Red Roof
- Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Hilton announced a new program to deliver an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection in Hilton properties around the world. Hilton will collaborate with RB, maker of Lysol and Dettol, and consult with the Mayo Clinic to develop elevated processes and team member training to provide an even cleaner and safer stay from check-in to check-out.
Hilton CleanStay with Lysol protection, as the program will be called in North America, will be a rigorous system that incorporates RB’s know-how and scientific approach to cleaning practices and product offerings. Experts from the Mayo Clinic’s Infection Prevention and Control team will advise and assist in enhancing Hilton’s cleaning and disinfection protocols.
Hilton CleanStay will build upon the already high standards of housekeeping and hygiene at Hilton properties worldwide, where hospital-grade cleaning products and upgraded protocols are currently in use. The goal of Hilton CleanStay is to provide guests with assurance and peace of mind when they stay at any of Hilton’s more than 6,100 properties. The initiative will create a focus on cleanliness that will be visible to guests throughout their entire stay – in their guestrooms, restaurants, fitness rooms and in other public spaces.
Hilton CleanStay was developed to meet evolving consumer expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research indicates that consumers have heightened concerns regarding hygiene on their journey, and trust in cleanliness standards will be critical to restarting travel.
“Our first priority has always been the safety of our guests and team members,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, Hilton president/CEO. “Hilton CleanStay builds on the best practices and protocols we’ve developed over the last several months, allowing our guests to rest easy with us and focus on enjoying the unforgettable experiences we have to offer—while protecting our team members who are on the front lines of hospitality.”
RB will bring Lysol experts in hygiene and disinfection to the multiyear partnership, leveraging more than 130 years of science-based research and thought leadership to support awareness, training and education, and product delivery and systems. RB and Hilton are also exploring opportunities to expand the program into a global partnership.
The Mayo Clinic will apply its experience and expertise to advise Hilton hotels on cleaning protocols, training programs and quality assurance. With the aid of Mayo Clinic medical and technical experts, Hilton is rewriting its cleaning protocols to translate the best practices in hospital hygiene standards to hotel guestrooms. Medical experts from the Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Response Team will also advise on new technologies and approaches, assist in training development, and create a rigorous quality assurance program.
While full details for the program are still in development, hotel brand standards under consideration include:
- 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 guestroom areas, including light switches, door handles, TV remotes and thermostats.
- Declutter 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, such as a station to allow guests to wipe the elevator button before pressing.
- Contactless check-in: 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.
Hotel team members will be provided with personal protective equipment and enhanced training designed to protect their well-being throughout the new cleaning process.