INTERNATIONAL REPORT—As the hotel industry readies for its reopening from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of companies and vendors are implementing new cleanliness and safety protocols. Here are some of them:
Oyo Launches Scrubbed Clean Program
Oyo Hotels has developed the Scrubbed Clean program with a set of recommendations to ensure that all its hotels in the U.S. comply with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to ensure health and safety for everyone involved. These recommendations are focused on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, enabling safe social interactions, and workplace protocols, while ensuring transparency throughout the guest journey. Oyo’s Scrubbed Clean recommendations are aligned with the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s (AHLA) Safe Stay guidelines and have been developed in conjunction with AAHOA.
Oyo has set-up a COVID-19 War Room to monitor and take immediate action during the crisis. The company continues to work with the Department of Homeland Security, National Guard, Red Cross, Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Health and Human Services and mayors and governors from across the country to meet any accommodation need that arises.
Iberostar Upgrades Health and Safety Protocols
The Iberostar Group will reopen several hotels this month in various destinations, including Spain (Balearics, Canaries and Andalusia), Montenegro, Greece and Mexico, among others. The Hotel Iberostar Cristina, on the island of Majorca, will be the first to reopen in a trial phase where new health and safety measures will be in place.
Iberostar Group will resume operations, aligning with science to guarantee optimum care for people and ecosystems. Through its medical advisory board, which includes biologists and doctors specialized in public health for the tourism industry, the Majorca-based company has developed more than 300 health and safety measures in coherence with the circularity policies promoted through the group’s Wave of Change movement, for the protection of the environment and the oceans. The hotel chain is also working closely with its partner SGS, supplier of inspection, verification, analysis and certification services, which has endorsed the disinfection and sanitization protocols for the hotels.
“The difficulty lies not in designing safety protocols, but rather in doing so from a holistic, science-based perspective without undoing the progress we’ve made in caring for the ecosystems,” said Sabina Fluxá, the group’s CEO. “We are proud of the measures we have introduced, particularly because they have allowed us to maintain our commitment to being a single-use-plastic-free company, as far as legislation permits, reinforcing our circularity policies and use of products that minimize environmental impact.” As an example, the new procedures include the use of masks made from recycled and recyclable materials and measures that encourage frequent handwashing to minimize the use of gloves.
Furthermore, the Iberostar Group has designed a training plan for all its teams, facilitating the transition to the new scenario, and the company will carry out regular audits of all its procedures and protocols. The training plan covers four key areas: general epidemiological instruction, application of protocols, coaching in new consumption habits and ad hoc training created by the medical advisory board.
Dimension Development Introduces Meet with Care
Dimension Development has implemented its training and protocol program across its 72-hotel portfolio, as well as its Meet with Care safety and sanitation wellness program for meetings and event customers. Using the latest research, COVID-19 guidelines and collective industry intelligence and protocols, Dimension has tailored cleaning products and procedures; increased employee training and awareness; and updated customer protocols to ensure the comfort and safety of its hotel community.
Each Dimension property will have a trained cleanliness champion, who reports to the Dimension Corporate COVID Clean Council, whose responsibilities include ongoing updates on best practices, success experience and protocols to provide the safest possible environment. Dimension has taken guidance from the CDC and AHLA to develop standard operating procedures, and is equally dedicated to updating and improving these processes as new information is provided. Ecolab is the main supplier of the hydrogen peroxide-based product in use at Dimension properties. The company has also implemented guidelines for a 24-hour delay on guestroom sales, occupancy permitting, allowing for extra sanitation and inspection time.
The research-based Dimension Meet with Care program is an eight-step approach to accommodate responsible experiences for the meetings and event customers. These steps include design, dining, catering, communication, sanitize, cleanliness, safe distancing and experience. Dimension has also developed social-distancing menus for its meeting and social event attendees. This new gatherings protocol has already converted corporate group functions since the rollout to the meetings community.
The Oberoi Group Upgrades Health and Safety Program
The Oberoi Group has rolled out an enhanced health and safety program at all Oberoi and Trident hotels.
The health and safety standards and procedures will be supervised by dedicated hygiene & safety managers at each hotel, as well as by senior members of the hotel management team. The Oberoi Group has also collaborated with Bureau Veritas, which will undertake various virtual and in person training sessions to supervise the implementation of the hygiene & safety standards at Oberoi and Trident hotels.
Restaurants across Oberoi properties ensure safe distancing with necessary safety precautions without diminishing the dining experience of guests. Meals can also be enjoyed by guests in guestrooms, suites and function rooms. To further support the health and well-being of its guests, master chefs across the organization have researched and developed menus consisting of immunity-building wellness dishes and drinks, available at each of the hotels.
Hotels will additionally ensure their fleet of hotel owned and operated cars are thoroughly sanitized before and after each trip.