AHLA unveils Stay Safe guidelines

Hotels across the country are re-evaluating cleaning processes and procedures in the wake of COVID-19. Photo credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / Igor Vershinsky

The American Hotel & Lodging Association today shared details about Safe Stay, an industrywide, enhanced standard of health and safety protocols designed to prepare America’s hotels to safely welcome back guests and employees as the economy reopens. The group launched the initiative last week.

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The standards of Safe Stay were developed under the guidance of an advisory council comprised of industry leaders representing all segments of the hotel industry, and in conjunction with public health experts to advance best practices for protecting against the coronavirus. Hotels have always met rigorous standards for cleaning and safety and these enhanced guidelines are rooted in recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to AHLA.

“Safe Stay was developed specifically to ensure enhanced safety for hotels guests and employees. While hotels have always employed demanding cleaning standards, this new initiative will ensure greater transparency and confidence throughout the entire hotel experience,” said Chip Rogers, president/CEO of AHLA. “The industry’s enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols will continue to evolve to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19.”

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The Safe Stay guidelines are intended to be iterative and will be revised as needed based on the recommendations of public health authorities, in compliance with any federal, state and local laws. They include guidance on the following:

  • Employee and guest health
  • Employee responsibilities
  • Cleaning products and protocols
  • Physical distancing

“While the hotel industry was one of the first affected by the pandemic, we have collectively stepped up to serve their communities during this public-health crisis,” Rogers said. “Thousands of hotels across the country, more than half of those small businesses, are working tirelessly during this uncertain time to support their employees, healthcare workers and first responders. When the time is right, hotels will be ready to safely and eagerly welcome back America’s traveling public.”

Click here to see the full guidelines. 

In addition to the AHLA’s new industrywide initiative, individual companies have launched programs and guidelines specific to those companies.

  • Hilton announced a new program to deliver new 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. 
  • Wyndham Hotels & Resorts launched “Count on Us,” a long-term, multifaceted initiative to build confidence among guests and to support franchisees as it begins making preparations to welcome travelers back to its more than 6,000 U.S. hotels. The program includes enhanced cleaning and disinfection of guestrooms and public spaces and easy access to COVID-19 health essentials.
  • Best Western Hotels & Resorts is building on its I Care Clean program, which was launched in 2012, with enhanced cleaning protocols and breakfast standards as part of the new We Care Clean program. We Care Clean ensures an even higher level of cleaning standards and operational best practices at Best Western properties.
  • Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced a Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment to further enhance its operational guidance and resources around colleague and guest safety and peace of mind. The commitment builds on Hyatt’s existing protocols and will include an accreditation process by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council at all hotels around the world, colleague training and support resources and a cross-functional working group of medical experts and industry professionals that will contribute to various aspects of the hotel experience.  
  • Room Mate Group is reinventing all of its cleaning and safety protocols in order to minimize the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19. Since reopening its first hotel, Room Mate Mario in Madrid on March 21, the company has redesigned its cleaning strategy and protocols in order to guarantee the safety of all the health-care professionals and company employees who are working through this health crisis.
  • Marriott International is rolling out a multipronged platform to elevate its cleanliness standards and hospitality norms and behaviors to meet the new health and safety challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to the hotel industry. The effort includes the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council, which will tackle the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic at the hotel level and further advance the company’s efforts in this area. The council is focused on developing the next level of global hospitality cleanliness standards, norms and behaviors that are designed to minimize risk and enhance safety for consumers and Marriott associates alike. 
  • In addition, Accor has partnered with Bureau Veritas, a provider of testing, inspection and certification, to develop a label designed to certify that the appropriate safety standards and cleaning protocols have been achieved to allow businesses to reopen.

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