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Travel Industry Is Ready To Welcome Back Guests With Commitment to Cleanliness and Hygiene

  • by Adrian Eugene Seet
  • 6 Months ago
  • Hotels
  • 7

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has commissioned a survey of recent travellers and found that 60% anticipate a return to travel within one to two months of containment of the COVID-19 pandemic but 40% indicate that they could wait six months or more. 69% indicated that they could delay travelling until their personal financial situation stabilises.

In China, domestic demand began to recover when the rate of new COVID-19 infections fell into single digits and rapidly headed towards zero. Actual demand is expected to be significantly weaker as load factors on these flights are reported to be low. China accounts for some 24% of all domestic passengers.

In Australia, domestic demand continued to deteriorate even after the rate of new infections fell into single digits which triggered an initial recovery in the Chinese domestic market. As at mid April, there was still no sign of a recovery where total domestic flights were at 10% of pre COVID-19 levels even as new infections near zero. Australia accounts for 3% of all domestic travellers.

IATA also supports the wearing of face coverings for passengers and masks for crew while on board aircraft as a critical part of a layered approach to biosecurity to be implemented temporarily when people return to travelling by air.

In addition to face coverings, these layers of temporary biosecurity measures being proposed include:

  • Temperature screening of passengers, airport workers and travellers,
  • Boarding and deplaning processes that reduce contact with other passengers or crew,
  • Limiting movement within the cabin during flight,
  • More frequent and deeper cabin cleaning; and
  • Simplified catering procedures that lower crew movement and interaction with passengers.

Leaving middle seats empty on flights to create social distancing on board is not recommended by IATA as the economics of this would not make sense for travellers or the airline.

“The safety of passengers and crew is paramount. The aviation industry is working with governments to re-start flying when this can be done safely. Evidence suggests that the risk of transmission onboard aircraft is low. And we will take measures—such as the wearing of face coverings by passengers and masks by crew—to add extra layers of protection. We must arrive at a solution that gives passengers the confidence to fly and keeps the cost of flying affordable. One without the other will have no lasting benefit.”

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO

All passengers flying on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot will have to wear a mask throughout the flight and observe safe distancing measures when boarding and disembarking or taking their turns to use the lavatory. Passengers on flights to Singapore will undergo a verbal basic health declaration and temperature checks before boarding the aircraft. Meal services will be suspended for flights within South East Asia and services to Mainland China. A snack bag with water and refreshments will be provided upon boarding. On all other flights, meals will be provided and customers can request for special meals from a reduced list based on IATA guidelines. Hot towel service, menu cards and seatback literature including magazines are temporarily not available. Cabin crew and pilots also have their temperatures taken before the flights and not allowed to work if they are unwell. They also wear masks and goggles or eye visors during flights. Singapore Airlines has published its Covid-19 outbreak precautionary measures online.

Many of the international hotel groups have made health, safety and security of guests, employees and business partners their priority as they prepare to welcome guests back when it is safe to.

Trends of Travel

In early April, Marriott International carried out a study to identify three trends based on information gathered from 377 hotels under the group in China during the three-day Qingming holiday. Domestic short vacations and family travels were highly popular with strong preferences for greenery and nature beauty as part of their travels. Trends identified included Rooms with a natural scenery view becomes a stronger selling point, weekend staycations to explore neighbourhoods and escape from the city and family travel has become the key audience group. These trends serve as potential indicators to how travellers will respond as the region begins to cool down and recover.

Kempinski Hotels in China has reopened all its hotels following early signs of recovery and eased lockdowns.

‘Our hotels in China have done great work in ensuring the health and safety of our guests and employees during the past weeks and months, and we are closely following the recommendations of global and local public health authorities, including the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People here no longer look for the best hotel, the greatest dinner or the lowest price, but for the safest experience. These are unprecedented times for the hospitality and catering industry. Travel is not a question of price, but a security issue. Kempinski is focusing on visible hygiene, and we have launched the “Kempinski White Glove Service” recently. Hotels must meticulously follow a 70-page guide that affects all departments. The rules apply to procedures for the arrival of guests, the furnishing of public areas, food and drink, and housekeeping.’

Michael Henssler, Chief Operating Officer Asia and Member of the Management Board for Kempinski Hotels.

The Hotel group launched a new “Make a Travel Promise‘ worldwide campaign just this month offering guests an offer to stay in the future with an upgrade to the next higher room category, a bottle of sparkling wine, a Kempinski breakfast and a 25% discount at restaurants and bars, as well as flexible arrival and departure times. This offer may be booked until 10 June 2020, but can be redeemed until the end of March 2021. For guests who do not wish to travel too far away can also take up Kempinski Staycations from their immediate vicinity.

Accor All Safe

In mid-April, Accor has joined forces with Bureau Veritas, a provider in 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.

The label will cover both accommodation and catering, setting sanitary standards applicable to all the Group’s hotels as well as to other chains and independent hotels. Doctors and epidemiologists were partnered to develop in collaboration with Accor owners and trade associations including UMIH, GNC and GNI.

Concretely, the output of this effort will be an operational guide made available to all stakeholders in the hospitality industry, enabling them to rigorously apply the health and safety recommendation of authorities (WHO, Health Ministry etc), both in guest services spaces and in back office and catering spaces. European customers will be able to check on a dedicated Bureau Veritas website, before they book their next stay whether any hotel or restaurant has been certified or not by Bureau Veritas.

Accor has also partnered AXA, a French insurance company, to provide medical support to guests across the 5,000 Accor hotels worldwide from July 2020. Accor guests will benefit from AXA’s free access to medical teleconsultations as well as the insurer’s extensive medical networks with tens of thousands of vetted medical professionals. Hotels can then make relevant referrals to their guest in the 110 destinations where Accor is present. This medical service complements Accor’s overall global recovery plan and is included in the enhanced health and prevention protocols put in place through its ALLSAFE Cleanliness label.

Ascott Cares

The Ascott Limited will review the design of its lodging products and services to ensure they are future-ready for continued growth in a post COVID-19 landscape. It has launched ‘Ascott Cares‘ to reassure guests and staff that there are stringent cleanliness and hygiene measures in place.

Ascott Cares covers nine commitments that comply with the World Health Organisation standards and local regulations to enhance the serviced apartments’ existing cleanliness protocols:

Staff’s Work EnvironmentPersonal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and hand sanitisers will be provided to staff.  Protective screens to be deployed at selected customer service touchpoints. Workspaces will be regularly sanitised and staff to undergo regular temperature screening.
Guest SafetyGuests will continue to have ready access to masks and hand sanitisers at the property upon request, and at elevator entrances, reception and facilities. Guests are to provide health and travel declarations and undergo temperature checks where applicable and required by local authorities. Ascott is also partnering with local medical facilities and telemedicine operators to offer efficient medical services
Physical DistancingThe number of guests will be limited in enclosed space. Floor markings will be used as a guide, while furniture at the waiting areas of the reception desks and other interaction points will be reconfigured where necessary to allow safe distancing, comfort and facilitate a smoother flow of traffic. The number of guests in lifts will be minimised through safe distancing measures, passenger traffic management and appropriate lift programming.
Enhanced HousekeepingIncreased disinfection and cleaning frequencies with stricter audits by in-house and independent agencies. Explore the further adoption of innovative disinfection technologies such as the use of robots. Disinfection and cleaning frequencies of lifts and their destination control panels will be increased. Antimicrobial coatings and effective disinfection technology will be applied in the lifts where possible to enhance safety.   
Apartments & RoomsElevated cleaning protocols with increased sanitisation of high-touch areas such as door handles, kitchen cabinet, wardrobe, TV remote controls and light switches. Masks and hand sanitisers will be available in the units for guests’ use. Maximum unit capacity to be strictly enforced.
Food & BeverageImproved queue and capacity management to ensure safe distancing. Use of digital menus for contactless food ordering is being explored. Enhanced food-safety standards and protocols for areas such as food handling, buffet and table service and in-room dining. As part of Ascott’s commitment to sustainability and to reduce single-use plastic bottles, many of our properties have water dispensers in easily accessible areas where the guests can refill their own bottles safely and with minimal interaction.  
Shared FacilitiesHigher frequencies of deep cleaning at shared facilities such as the swimming pool, fitness centre and residents’ lounge. Stricter guidelines such as compulsory use of towels.
Contactless & PaperlessLeverage digital technologies to minimise contact such as through the use of contactless check-in and check-out options; cashless and contactless payment methods; sensor-enabled dispensers; digital locks; and service delivery robots, where applicable. Further reduction of paper products such as providing digital manuals to operate kitchen appliances as well as digital newspapers and magazines.
VendorsMore stringent requirements to ensure vendors and suppliers provide products and services that meet accredited hygiene standards. Temperature checks for delivery personnel and quicker and efficient deliveries within property premises. 

Avis Budget Group Launches New Safety Initiatives

Avis Photo

Avis Singapore & Budget Singapore have both launched new safety initiatives. Avis Singapore is implementing the new ‘Avis Safety Pledge‘ while Budget Singapore will launch its ‘Budget Worry-Free Promise“. These will be implemented in all Avis Singapore and Budget Singapore’s rental stations to provide a safe, clean and convenient transport solution.

As part of the pledge, Avis and Budget have enhanced their cleaning protocols, including utilising disinfectant that protects customers and employees against pathogens. All vehicles are cleaned before every rental, paying special attention to high touch point surfaces such as the steering wheel, indicators, dashboard, hand grips, in-car entertainment controls, cup holders, centre consoles, and all door handles, both inside and out. Avis and Budget are also following social distancing measures at rental stations; employees are supplied gloves and masks when facing customers, and counter shields across most of the network are being installed. 

Customers can pick up and drop off their vehicles with minimal contact during both delivery and collection of cars or receive their rented, clean cars at preferred locations, and use the key drop system while returning their vehicles, with no physical interaction required. Paperwork can be prepared ahead of time for swift collection of vehicles by being an Avis Preferred member.

Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts SAFE SANCTUARY

Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts has partnered Bureau Veritas to co-develop a proprietary label and set of protocols and launch the SafeSanctuary Programme which will be rolled out progressively from June 2020 throughout all properties. This programme has over 40 areas of enhanced protocols, including screening procedures, hygiene stations and redesigned processes throughout the guest and associate experience.

Highlights of the programme include:

  • Protective Assurance Protocols – rigorous cleaning and distancing will be applied for guests and associate, focusing on high-traffic public areas as well as high-touch areas in-room with EPA-approved and recommended cleaning agents. Appropriate distancing will be encouraged through signage and with ambassadors in public areas such as pools, lobbies, restaurants and other facilities. Limited capacity quotas will be implemented in enclosed areas for group activities. Guest amenities, linens and bedding will be thoroughly steamed and arrive fully protected in-room.
  • Contactless Journeys – In-room directories and restaurant menus will be replaced with digital options for convenient access on personal devices. Checking in and out as well as experiences such as personal health and fitness classes, cooking sessions or well-being consultations may be conducted in-room.
  • Continuous Education & Training – All associates will undergo continuous training at the centralised Banyan Tree Management Academy. Hygiene Managers and key personnel will apply audit technology that allows the implementation of the new protocols.
  • Organisational Wellbeing Index will be rolled out to assess and respond to associates’ wellbeing. A regional Tele-Therapy Service will help support emotional and mental health.

Within the SafeSanctuary programme, additional global standards will focus on deep rest through sleep, activities emphasising the connection to Nature, and culinary offerings emphasising plant-forward menus and ingredient integrity.

Aeroline

Aeroline cabin crew sanitising the bus with UVC rays


Aeroline, the double-decker coach company, pioneers a new process in safety and sanitsation in Malaysia with the use of UVC technology in its coaches. Before and after each trip, the process of sanitising and sterilising the buses with UVC rays has been added. These UVC rays kill germs and viruses on surfaces including high-contact point areas, bus seats, on-board amenities, toilets, door knobs, railings, hidden nooks and corners. Aeroline has also availed mobile units will be used for sanitation of buses operated by other operators in the Sungai Nibong station for the entire month of May 2020.

The UVC light is scientifically proven to kill Coronavirus including SARS, MERS and H1N1 on surfaces. The Department of Homeland Security USA has released conclusive research that UV from sunlight can inactivate Coronavirus effectively. UVC is used to sanitise hospitals, hotel kitchens, food processing facilities.

A different UVC air sanitising system has also been installed into the air conditioning ducts so that the cabin air is constantly disinfected even while the bus is moving with passengers on board.

“Aeroline is fully committed to its passengers and cabin crew’s health and safety.  While the MCO was mandated a month ago, we began putting in place additional safety and sanitisation measures to ensure that our buses are ready to better serve our customers once MCO is lifted.  As a bus operator, we play a serious role in mitigating the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and in ensuring the peace of mind of our passengers when they are aboard our buses. Our industry is highly affected as inter-state travel was restricted during MCO.  All of us are going through very difficult times.  If we want to quickly move ahead, we have to take pro-active measures. If other bus operators are interested to introduce this sanitisation method in their service, we are willing to share the know-how and proper usage of UVC with them”

Law Cheok Gheen, Chief Executive Officer of Aeroline.

Aeroline continues to operate since 4 May 2020 during Malaysia’s Conditional Movement Control Order (MCO). The bus company also tightened safety and sanitisation measures in other areas including contactless ticketing procedures at all service centres, regular temperature screenings for all passengers and cabin crew before boarding the buses, sanitisation of luggage, briefings on on-board etiquette and practicing social distance in the bus.

Bus operators who wish to know more about the UVC sanitisation process can email help@aeroline.com.my or call 03-6258 8800.

All Nippon Airways

All Nippon Airways has updated their safety precautions to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“We want to reassure our customers and employees that ANA is taking every precaution to provide a clean, safe and comfortable travel experience. As new industry, government or airport specific cleaning and sanitisation policies are considered, we will continue to evaluate implementing them.”

Yuji Hirako, President and CEO of ANA
  • Maintain a clean environment at airports, in aircraft cabins, lounges and all locations
  • ANA Group employees will wear a facial covering at every touchpoint with customers
  • All aircraft operated by ANA Group will be disinfected on a regular and frequent basis. Aircraft used for International flights will be sanitised after every flight, and daily at night on aircraft flown domestically.
  • All aircrafts used by ANA will have clean air through ventilation systems:
    • Clean air through adequate ventilation – The aircraft absorbs a large amount of clean air from the sky, which allows for the cabin’s entire air to be replaced in approximately three minutes.
    • Aircraft equipped with a high-performance filter – The cabin air is filtered and circulated through a high-performance filter that is used in the air conditioning systems of operating theatres of hospitals, ensuring high-quality, clean air.
    • Constant air circulation – The cabin air is constantly flowing, from the ceiling to the floor, and from the front to the back. The air in aircraft does not stay stagnant.

Passengers must adhere to social distancing as well as facial covering protocols at the airport and onboard the aircraft. Passengers who do not wear a facial covering may be refused boarding. Infants and those who are physically unable to wear masks will be exempted.

 ANA Groups’ initiatives in accordance with other government and airport authorities at selected overseas airportsANA passenger requirements
Check-in Area/Before DepartureWearing of Facial Covering and Face Shield
Airport staff will wear facial coverings and face shields. 

Installation of plastic curtains
Plastic curtains will be placed at the check-in counter. 

Lounge Services
・Individual wrapping and the suspension and restriction of some food, drink and other services.
・Disinfectant will be located at the entrance of the lounge and the food and drink area. 

Disinfection of equipment, etc
Periodically disinfect equipment and supplies such as check-in machines and wheelchairs. 

Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitisers will be located by the airport entrance.
Wearing of Facial Covering
Passengers must wear a facial covering in the check-in, lounge, gate and all areas of the airport. 

Seat Assignment
・When making a reservation, confirm the reservation status of flight in advance and reserve the seat. Some seats are blocked. 
・Check in online. 

Securing Social Distance
・Follow the staff’s instruction and cooperate to secure the distance between passengers.
・Use ANA’s online check-in and ANA Baggage Drop (self-service baggage drop machine) 

Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitisers located by the airport entrance.
Security AreaTemperature measurement
Temperature measurement will be carried out near the entrance of the security check. (At 6 Japanese airports: Haneda, Narita, Itami, Kansai, Chubu and Fukuoka) 

Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitisers will be located at the security check.
Wearing of Facial Covering
Wear a facial covering. 

Securing Social Distance
Follow the staff’s instruction and cooperate to secure the distance between passengers. 

Receiving a pass certificate
Hold the barcode over the device and receive the pass certificate. 

Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitiser located at the security check.
Gate Area Wearing of Facial Covering and Face Shield
At the boarding gate, airport staff will wear masks and face shields. 

Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitisers will be placed near the boarding gate.
Wearing of Facial Covering
Wear a facial cover. 

Securing Social Distance
Follow the staff’s instruction and cooperate to secure the distance between passengers. 

Boarding pass
Hold the two-dimensional bar code or IC at the gate and receive it by yourself. 

Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitisers near the board gate.
 Inflight Wearing of Facial Covering and Gloves by Cabin Attendants
Cabin attendants working on domestic and international flights will wear facial coverings to reassure passengers. They will also wear gloves when serving food and drink items. 

Cleaning and Disinfection of Aircraft
・Each flight is cleaned and disinfected for international flights. 
・Aircraft is cleaned and disinfected every day at night for domestic flights. 

Antibacterial Wipes
While the aircraft cabins are cleaned and disinfected regularly, additional antibacterial wipes will be provided to those in need. 

In-flight Service
In-flight services such as drinks, meals, in-flight Duty Free Sales and newspapers and magazines may be suspended or limited. 
Wearing of Facial Covering
Wear a facial covering when boarding.  

American Hotel & Lodging Association

The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) has launched Safe Stay, an enhanced industry-wide hotel cleaning standards in response to COVID-19 in accordance with CDC guidelines.

The standards of Safe Stay were developed under the guidance of an advisory council of industry leaders representing all segments of the hotel industry including Accor, AAHOA, Aimbridge Hospitality, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Choice Hotels International, Davidson Hotels & Resorts, G6 Hospitality LLC, Hersha Hospitality Trust, Hilton, Host Hotels, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Loews Hotels & Co, Marriott International, My Place Hotels, Noble Investment Group, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, Radisson Hotel Group, Red Lion Hotels Corporation, Red Roof, Remington Hotels, Vision Hospitality Group and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Ecolab, a global company in cleaning and disinfecting solutions and services, was also involved in this initiative.

The Safe Stay guide provides guidance on employee & guest health, employee responsibilities, cleaning products and protocols and physical distancing.

Safe Stay is also organised by other organisations including:

  • Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA)
  • Association of Lodging Professionals
  • Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI)
  • Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)
  • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals
  • Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI)
  • Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG)
  • Hotel Association of Canada (HAC)
  • Latino Hotel Association (LHA)
  • National Association of Black Hotel Owner, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD)
  • US Travel Association

Avani Hotels & Resorts & AvaniSHIELD

Avani Hotels & Resorts has rolled out AvaniSHIELD, new safety and hygiene measures based on scientific research, across its portfolio. The group has been working closely with Ecolab even before the outbreak and continues to do so by ensuring all materials and measures adhere to Ecolab, WHO and for EPA standards for chemical treatment.

New technology such as digital check-in/check-out & concierge service, copper protection coating, UVC light and HEPA-grade air purifiers will be adopted.

AvaniMe Digital Concierge App coming soon (Avani Hotels photo)
AvaniMe Digital Concierge App coming soon (Avani Hotels photo)

All its 32 properties in 18 countries will adopt a range of heightened hygiene and sanitising standards with the introduction of:

  • Contactless Service – New way of greeting guests using country-specific hand gestures without losing the human touch. Digital check-in allows guests to collect their keys upon arrival by prefilling their registration cards on their mobile devices prior to arrival. Settle check-out billing via digital payment process and a new Digital Concierge App will be launched.
  • New Safety & Hygiene Technology – Implementing new technology from an anti-viral coating that has longer protection period, to Cu+ Copper film protection, as well as a range of UVC light technology, and HEPA-grade air purifiers where each bring on its own 99.99% effectiveness in removing bacterial or virus property. Key cards, stationaries and other often touched items at the front office and back of house will be sterilised with a range of UVC cleaning devices.
  • The Extra Miles for our Guests & Associates: A dedicated AvaniSHIELD Agent will implement the new safety & hygiene protocols, as well as update team members and keeping in contact with health authorities on the latest update. After cleaning, each guest room will be sealed for 24 hours – a resting period during which time the housekeeping team cannot enter and a waiting period until the next guest can check in. All third-party partners, transport or tour service and suppliers will be re-screened to ensure they meet the new standard for Avani’s Trusted Partner Programme.

Delta Airlines New Standard of Clean

Delta has added another layer of safety at airports. Its Delta Flight Products subsidiary worked with Airport Customer Service teams to design and manufactured a custom plexiglass safety barrier for airport check-in lobbies, departure gates and Delta Sky Club counters.

The product was tested at Delta’s Atlanta Hub and is now manufacturing up to 150 barriers each day. Full outfitting of the safety barriers at all check-in lobbies and departure gates is expected at Delta’s U.S. hub airports by 1 June 2020 and at all US locations in the weeks following. Delta Sky Club installations are expected to be complete this summer and Delta intends to install at airports outside the US in the weeks ahead.

Delta’s new standard of clean include:

  • ​Expanding electrostatic sanitising spraying – to all aircraft and adopting extensive pre-flight cleaning practices that disinfect high-touch areas – on top of existing cleaning measures and the use of state-of-the-art air circulation systems with HEPA filters that extract more than 99.99% of particles, including coronaviruses, on most Delta aircraft and circulating 100% fresh external air on all other Delta aircraft.
  • Taking steps to give customers and employees more space for safer travel on the ground and in the air by blocking middle seats, reducing the number of customers on each flight and pausing automatic Medallion Complimentary Upgrades 
  • Adjusting the boarding process to encourage more space for safer travel by boarding all flights from back-to-front — reducing the instances of customers needing to pass by one another to reach their seats 
  • Streamlining onboard food and beverage service on all flights and encouraging customers to pack their own food and beverages to decrease touch points 
  • Providing supplies directly to customers when available,  including hand sanitisers, amenity kits and other protective equipment to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses 
  • Connecting with health experts, partners and healthcare industry leaders on best practices 

Dorsett Hospitality International

Dorsett Hospitality International photo

Dorsett Hospitality International has been taking strict preventive anti-epidemic measures for its 9 hotels in Hong Kong since February 2020. Dorsett has partnered Ecolab which supplies disinfectant cleaner 2.0, a germicidal/virucide detergent effective in killing 30 pathogens, to comprehensively clean and disinfect the air conditioning system.

Dorsett has also implemented a series of precautionary measures at its hotels, including:

  1. Hotels are using Ecolab disinfectant cleaner 2.0 to clean air con air outlet / return nozzle and dust filter every day.
  2. All hotels have installed multiple disinfectant and anti-epidemic sprayers within hotel areas.
  3. All hotels have increased the cleaning and disinfection frequency of public areas and facilities to once every hour.
  4. All public areas in our hotels are providing 70-80% alcohol-based hand rub/ gel for guest and staff use, and providing refill service for guests to use when going out.
  5. A dedicated queue for all arriving guests to take a body temperature scan and fill out a health condition and travel history survey.
  6. All staff on duty are required to wear surgical masks.
  7. All staff reporting duty will need to receive a body temperature scan.

Dusit Care – Stay With Confidence

Dusit Thani Pattaya Chaba Pool (Dusit Thani photo)

Thailand’s Dusit International has introduced ‘Dusit Care – Stay with Confidence’ to go beyond enhanced hygiene protocols to deliver additional convenience, experience and value while ensuring guests feel safe and reassured.

Five distinct dimensions have been identified –

  • Flexible Stays – Flexible check-in times to limit queues. Breakfast will be available any time of the day.
  • Safety & Well Being – Stringent health and safety practices to include frequent sanitisation of all rooms and public areas. Temperature scans on arrival and provision of appropriate space in restaurants. Dusit’s in-room dining options will also include personalised healthy food. Minibar refreshment fridges will offer complimentary healthy drinks and snacks. New outdoor workout areas will be added to offer more space for exercise.
  • Local Experience – Dusit is partnering with local culinary specialists and craftspeople in its various locations so guests don’t have to leave the comfort of Dusit’s hotels to enjoy local food and souvenirs.
  • Technology – Mobile payments will be implemented while digital menus will be installed at its various outlets. Flexible meeting and conference equipment, and property-wide high-speed internet, ensure guest can always remain connected.
  • Dusit Care Kit – One will be placed in every guest room containing hand sanitiser gel, a face mask and antibacterial wipes.

Emirates Steps Up Safety Measures

Since mid April, Emirates has stepped up precautionary measures at the airport and on board to ensure the health and safety of passengers and crew. All cabin crew, boarding agents and ground staff in contact with passengers have to don personal protective equipment which includes a protective disposable gown over their uniforms, a safety visor, in addition to masks and gloves.

At Dubai International Airport, gloves and masks are mandatory for everyone. Thermal scanners monitor temperatures of all passengers and employees stepping into the airport. Physical distancing indicators have been placed on the ground and at waiting areas to help travellers maintain the necessary distance during check-in and boarding. Protective barriers at each check-in desk have been installed to provide additional safety reassurance to passengers and employees during interaction over the counter.

Seats are pre-allocated with vacant seats between individual passengers or family groups. Food and beverages are now offered in bento-style boxes or sandwiches, beverages, snacks and desserts to reduce contact between crew and customers during meal service. Magazines and other print reading materials are temporarily unavailable. Cabin baggage are not accepted on flights. Carry-on items allowed in the cabin are limited to laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items. All other items have to be checked in and the airline will add the cabin baggage allowance to customers’ check-in baggage allowance. Passengers have to wear their masks and gloves throughout their journey from check-in till they disembark.

All Emirates aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai, after each journey.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways’s ‘Etihad Wellness’ is an expanded and comprehensive health and hygiene programme and customer guide on top of the stringent measures already in place to deal with COVID-19. Specially trained Wellness Ambassadors will provide essential travel health information and care so guests can fly with peace of mind.

An online guide will highlight the standards of cleanliness, health and hygiene that is applied at every stage of the customer journey. This covers culinary hygiene at Etihad’s catering facilities and food testing laboratory, aircraft cabin deep-leaning, check-in, health screening, boarding, inflight experience and product, crew interaction, arrival and ground transportation.

A skilled multi-lingual team Wellness Ambassadors can be contacted directly 24/7 by emailing wellness@etihad.ae by sharing advice on travel wellbeing and details of the health and sanitisation measures being implemented throughout their journey. Etihad will expand the service to include a web-chat option.

Etihad Crew onboard with PPE serving guests (Etihad Airways photo)

Etihad will also introduce Wellness Ambassadors at Abu Dhabi International Airport. When travel restrictions to and from the UAE are lifted and Etihad resumes flights on its international flights, Wellness Ambassadors will be introduced on board to complement the roles performed by other Cabin Crew.

Genting Cruises

Genting Dream Deluxe Suite (Genting Dream photo)


Genting Cruise Lines has in place enhanced preventive measures for its Dream Cruises and Star Cruises fleet. This will become the new norm for preventive standards for the fleet.

These include stringent health screening prior to embarkation and disembarkation, sanitisation and disinfection and enhanced hygiene practices for guest cabins, various on board public areas and recreational activities, food and beverage safety and also health of crew members.

Genting Cruise Lines will further collaborate with the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association to contribute to the publishing of a white paper for the cruise industry’s prevention and response plan against COVID-19, providing a comprehensive and unified standard for the cruise industry to ensure the safety and well-being of all cruising guests and crew members.

Embarkation and Disembarkationa. Mandatory temperature screening and pre-boarding health declarations for all guests

b.Infrared fever screening system at the ship gangway

c. Higher frequency with increased levels of sanitisation and disinfection at the ship gangway and passenger walkways

d. Stringent checks for all embarking individuals including crew travel documents; guests aged 70 years & above to provide a doctor’s certificate of fitness for travel

e. Online check-in for guests to receive designated arrival time at the cruise terminal to minimise crowd congestion

f. Additional waiting areas for cruise boarding & disembarkation (with staggered times)

g. Compliance with all local port and health authorities’ regulations
 
Guest accommodationsa. Higher frequency with increased levels of sanitisation and disinfection in guest cabins with hospital-grade disinfectants, including:
– Twice daily wipe-down of guest cabins and guests cabin corridors
– Fogging of vacant guest cabins and guests cabin corridors

b. Clean and disinfect guest bathrooms with heavy-duty alkaline bathroom cleaner and disinfectant.

c. Timely removal of food items from cabins to prevent spoilage and cultivation of microorganisms and bacteria.

d. Timely housekeeping cabin turnover; bedsheets and linens professionally cleaned and disinfected at high temperatures

e. Injection of diluted cleaning solution into drains to avoid clogged pipes and to prevent bacterial growth

f. In case of sickness, thorough cleaning and disinfection with hospital grade disinfectant and fogging the cabin after.
Common Public Areasa. All public areas onboard will undergo a two-tier sanitisation process with a thorough cleansing, fogging and wiping using a hospital-grade disinfectant. On-board Ship Venues and Cleaning Frequency:
– Elevators: Every 2 hours
– Public areas and facilities: 2 – 10 times daily
– Spa and amenities: Min 2 times daily
– Other Public Areas: To adjust disinfection frequency accordingly

b. Common public areas will be sanitised from once daily to 2 – 4 times daily and frequent touchpoints such as handrails, lift buttons, table-tops, door handles etc. will be sterilised every hour or less during peak hours (Embarkation & Disembarkation time, returning from shore excursions, meal periods)

c. Frequent usage of heavy-duty neutral PH floor-cleaning agent to disinfect all floor areas of the ship

d. Sanitiser dispensers are available at various public areas and crew members stationed at key onboard venues to provide hand sanitisation.
Food Hygiene Practices & Standards
a. F&B restaurants / bar areas, including galleys, will be cleaned and sanitised 3 times daily, during and after service

b. Guests are encouraged to wash hands before entry and use sanitiser dispensers available at F&B outlet entrances/exits

c. Guest seating will ensure ample spacing; disposable cutlery will be provided, upon request.

d. Self-service at F&B buffet restaurants will be suspended. All food & beverages will be served to guests by crew members wearing face masks & disposable gloves.

e. Culinary use of wild animals and related products are strictly prohibited.

f. Stringent procurement guidelines will be enforced and product sourcing from highly affected regions will be strictly prohibited.
Entertainment and Recreational Activitiesa. Theatres will be sanitised before and after each show; 3D glasses disinfected before and after guest usage (if applicable)

b. Cleaning and disinfection of all toys, games and Kids’ Club facilities twice daily and/or after every use.

c. All duty-free shops and entertainment venues will be disinfected twice daily before and after service.

d. All recreational equipment will be disinfected every 2 hours before guest usage

e. Guests capacity will be limited to half the venue capacity to provide ample space between guests

f. Sanitiser dispensers will be readily available at various venues including entertainment venue entrances/exits.

g. Tour coaches will be limited to half capacity & sanitised frequently; training for tour operators based on guidance from the WHO.

h. Spa & Gym facilities will be sanitised prior to and after usage by guests.
Fresh Air Ventilation Systemsa. 100% external fresh air is filtered and supplied to passenger cabins and onboard public areas

b. Air filters and cooling coils thoroughly checked, cleaned and replaced to ensure healthy air quality.
Medical Centrea. Isolated wards available in the Medical Centre

b. Contaminated items and medical waste will be properly sealed and disposed of according to health and safety guidelines.

c. Used face masks and protective equipment disposed at designated central collection points.

d. Medical equipment and waste bins cleaned, disinfected and washed twice daily with hospital-grade disinfectant.
Crew Members Practices & Standardsa. Twice daily temperature checks.

b. All Frontline crew are required to wear face masks

c. Housekeeping and F&B crew required to wear disposable gloves.

d. Designated crew may also wear protective garments and eye protection if required.

e. All crew to use anti-bacterial hand soap for at least 20 sec to sanitise hands.

f. Medical Centre Isolation Area staff related to suspected cases are required to:
– wear adequate personal protection (face mask, eye protection, disposable gloves & disposal outer garment)
– follow proper handwashing practices before and after work duty
– update personal health information daily.

g. Provide Training Workshops and pertinent information on health and safety preventive measures

h. Reduction of crew movement

To boost confidence in future reservations for guests, Genting Cruise Lines has also launched “Cruise As You Wish” programme in which all new and existing Dream Cruises and Star Cruises bookings prior to or on 30 October 2020 will have the flexibility to cancel up to 48 hours before sailing and receive 100% future cruise credit to be redeemed of any Dream Cruises or Star Cruises sailing embarking on or before 31 March 2021.

The Fullerton Hotels & Resorts

The Fullerton Hotels & Resorts has developed new initiatives with enhanced deep cleaning practices, introduction of new cleaning technologies and expert accredited hygiene protocols.

A Hygiene & Cleanliness Committee made up of a dedicated in-house team and external experts in food & water safety, hygiene & infection prevention has set up rigorous and enhanced cleanliness practices that will ensure a safe home-away-from-home experience for guests and team members. Elevated level of protection will include:

  • Temperature taking and completion of health declaration forms 
  • Contact tracing through Safe Entry Mobile Application for hotels in Singapore
  • Minimisation of physical contact between guests and front office team members through touchless payment transaction devices 
  • Gloves and surgical masks will be worn by all guest-facing team members 
  • Provision of surgical masks upon request for hotel guests 
  • Availability of touch-free hand sanitiser dispensers at entrances, public areas and facilities 
  • Social distancing measures implemented throughout the hotel 
  • Use of hospital-grade cleaning agents for disinfection 
  • Hourly disinfection of high touch areas (including lift buttons, doorknobs, handrails, etc.) 
  • Daily disinfection for cushions, curtains, fabric furniture and rugs in public areas and facilities 
  • Air purifiers installed within the hotel’s public spaces 

Within the guest rooms, dining venues and meeting spaces, enhanced safety and sanitation precautions have also been put in place: 

  • Cleaning and sanitising of all areas using hospital-grade disinfectant 
  • Deep cleaning for high touch areas (e.g. light switches, bathroom surfaces, door handles, hair dryers, remote controls, digital gadgets, bathroom faucets, thermostats within the guest rooms) 
  • Availability of hand sanitisers and antibacterial wet wipes in the guest room 
  • Guest rooms will be vacated for 24 hours after guest departure to undergo deep cleaning, sanitisation and disinfection 
  • Increased frequency of air conditioning filters replacement to ensure clean air circulation 
  • To minimise contact between guests and team members, guests can opt-out of daily housekeeping services. In-room dining delivery will also be handled with care and minimal contact. 
  • Replacement of dining buffets with individually plated or boxed meals for all functions and à la carte dining in venues to avoid contamination 
  • Provision of information regarding wellness tips and COVID-19 preventive measures through guest room e-compendiums 

The group has also launched new cleaning technologies and digital concierge service. Handheld disinfectant spray machines which use electrostatic spraying technology and highest grade disinfectants and hospital grade equipment will be used to eliminate microbes and decontaminate all spaces within the hotel.

Guests can use the in-room tablet to order in-room dining as well as make paperless and contactless requests for services directly. A customised mobile concierge platform will be launched in the latter half of 2020 in the form of a downloadable mobile app that lets you check-in and access the guest room with minimal contact with front office personnel.

In Singapore, both The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore and the nine restaurants and bars received the SG Clean certification in April 2020. This official endorsement by the Singapore National Environment Agency is testament to the high standards of environmental public hygiene on both hotel premises.

New work procedures, independent audits and mandatory trainings are also being implemented. Additionally, all team members at The Fullerton Hotel Sydney will complete the Australian Government COVID-19 Infection Control Training; a hygiene and health certification. 

Hyatt Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment

Hyatt Regency at Dusseldorf’s Media Harbour

On 29 April 2020, Hyatt announced a Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment to further enhance its operational guidance and resources around colleague and guest safety and peace of mind. It will include an accreditation process by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) at all its 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.

The GBAC STAR accreditation will be introduced through a performance-based cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention programme that will focus on establishing hotel environments that are sanitary, safe and healthy. GBAC is a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, and is composed of leaders in the area of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis and mitigation, designed specifically to deal with biological threats and real-time crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hyatt is the first hospitality brand to announce plans to commit to GBAC STAR accreditation which will include detailed training at more than 900 Hyatt hotels worldwide. Hyatt intends to complement this with regular internal and third-party auditing.

Daily colleague surveys will be introduced to measure colleague comfort, a hotel’s cleanliness, working order and customer service, enabling hotel leaders to address opportunities, make adjustments as necessary and meet colleagues’ needs in real time.

As part of Hyatt’s Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment, by September 2020, every Hyatt hotel will have at least one person on property trained as Hygiene Manager who will be responsible for their hotel adhering to new operational guidance and protocols, some of which may include:

  • 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 sanitiser stations throughout hotel public and employee areas and entrances
  • Exploring 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

Hyatt has been engaging additional medical experts and leading industry professional to provide counsel on key areas of Hyatt’s business. Topic areas and advisors in discussion include:

  • Health & Hygiene: Dr. Daniel Lucey, M.D., M.P.H., Infectious Diseases Professor, Georgetown University Medical Center; Fellow, Infectious Disease Society of America
  • Colleague Safety: Dr. Charles Yarborough, M.D., M.P.H., Preventive/Occupational Medicine Expert; affiliated with Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
  • Food & Beverage Safety: Dr. Elaine Black, Ph.D., Food Science and Microbiology, Ecolab
  • Travel Journey:
    • Julie Rath, Vice President, Customer Experience, Innovation and Delivery, American Airlines;
    • David Peckinpaugh, President, Maritz Global Events
  • Space Design: Tom Ito, FAIA, LEED® AP, Global Hospitality Leader, Principal, Gensler
  • Technology: Ahmad Ouri, Chief Executive Officer, Sonifi
  • Wellbeing: senior leadership from the Global Wellness Institute

“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.”

Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO, Hyatt

IHG Hotels & Resorts Clean Promise

IHG Hotels & Resorts is using new, science-led protocols and service measures and has partnered Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey to ensure that its hotels & resorts around the world are ready to welcome back guests.

The IHG Way of Clean programme was launched in 2015 with Ecolab and Diversey and is now being expanded with additional COVID-19 protocols and best practices based on the advice of the World Health Organisation, Centres for Disease Control & Prevention and local public health authorities in markets around the world.

 IHG Way of Clean already includes deep cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants, and going forward guests can expect to see evolved procedures in every area of the hotel, which may include: 

  • Reception: Reduced contact at check-in, touchless transactions, front-desk screens, sanitiser stations, sanitised key cards, paperless checkout 
  • Guest Room: Visible verification of sanitised items (e.g., glassware, remote control), reduction of in-room furnishings/high-touch items, new laundry protocols, use of new technology 
  • Public Spaces and Facilities: Additional deep cleaning of high-touch surfaces, social distancing, “last cleaned” charts, best practices for pools, fitness centres and lounges 
  • Food & Beverage: New standards and service approach to buffets, banquets, room service and catering 

The group is launching a global IHG Clean Promise initiative globally from 1 June 2020. A new Global Cleanliness Board made up of a group of IHG experts in operations, health, safety and guest experience has been formed to work with new external specialists including James Merlino, Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at Cleveland Clinic to define solutions, best practice and implement processes.

IHG and the Cleveland Clinic will develop guidance and resources for hotel teams on returning to work and keeping guests safe, which may include:

  • Cleanliness information in hotels and on IHG’s booking channels 
  • Social distancing operating procedures and signage 
  • Guidance on the use of protective equipment as necessary by hotel colleagues 
  • Updated colleague training and certification 
  • Availability of individual guest amenity cleaning kits 
  • Hand sanitiser and disinfecting wipes available in guest rooms and at high-touch points throughout hotels 

Clean champions will be appointed on the properties to continue building the culture of clean instilled in IHG hotels around the world and focus on guests and colleagues navigate the new environment as well as to help on-property teams to consistently deliver the elevated cleanliness standards.

Kempinski White Glove Service

Kempinski White Glove Service (Kempinski Hotels photo)

Kempinski Hotels launched ‘Kempinski White Glove Service’ in end April 2020. The Kempinski operational strategy and quality management team launched this extensive service covering all areas of the luxury hotels while keeping in line with the regional safety and healthy regulations as a top priority.

A comprehensive 50 page guidebook has been launched by the operational strategy and quality management team.

Employees will carry gloves when interacting with guests as well as wear masks to comply with government regulations. Kempinski Hotels has its own masks designed by Italian hotel uniform designer Maurel, carrying the patterns of the Kempinski flower print.

Mini hand sanitisers and guests masks will be part of the guest room amenities. Social distancing will be observed and furniture in public areas have been rearranged. Enhanced cleaning plans are provided by Diversey through wall charts and online guidelines to visualise step by step the flow of disinfection and cleaning of all hotel areas. Sanitising stations are spread throughout each hotel and key cards will be disinfected before and after usage. Cloth towels in public toilets have been replaced by single-use disposable towels. Professional air purifiers provide clean and fresh air.

Procedures are of course not restricted to guest services, but also apply to back of the house areas such as the employee restaurant. To limit the number of employees having their breaks at the same time, service hours of the canteen for example will be extended, some tables and chairs will be blocked to grant space and boxed meals can be offered as an alternative to be consumed at office desks.

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines has in place temperature screening for all crew and passengers, hand sanitisers at customer touch points as well as boarding by groups so that there is sufficient physical distancing of one metre between people at all times. All passengers and crew are required to wear protective masks at the airport and during flight, except during meal times. Seats will be alternated to maintain a safe distance on board.

Inflight meals have been replaced with personal meal boxes and packaged drinks. Single use cutleries and towels will be provided. The airline has installed HEPA air filters on board filtering 99.97% of dust particles and airborne contaminants. The cabins will be cleaned and disinfected with aircraft-manufacturer approved disinfectants.

Marriott International

Electrostatic Spraying with Hospital-Grade Disinfectant (Marriott International Photo)

Marriott has put in place a multi-pronged approach designed to meet the health and safety challenges presented by COVID-19. And Bill Marriott, Marriott International’s Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, tells the story on how Marriott is elevating cleanliness standards and changing hospitality norms across their portfolio of hotels in a video.

  • Marriott Global Cleanliness Council: In-house and outside experts in food and water safety, hygiene and infection prevention, and hotel operations will work to develop a new generation of global hospitality cleanliness standards, norms and behaviours for our more than 7,300 properties around the globe.
  • New Cleaning Technologies: While the council develops its work, plans have been initiate to roll out enhanced technologies at properties over the next few months, including electrostatic sprayers and the highest classification of disinfectants recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization to sanitise surfaces throughout hotels.
  • Cleaning Regimen Changes: When guests check into hotels over the next few months, a number of additions to the group’s cleaning regimen are designed to set an even higher standard of cleanliness for the hotels as well as modifications to associate-guest protocols developed to be consistent with recommended social distancing guidelines.

Previously, Marriott International has made additions to its cleaning regimen previously including :

  • Guest Contact: Signage has been put up in its lobbies to remind guests to maintain social distancing protocols and removing or re-arranging furniture to allow more space for distancing. Marriott has evaluated 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 has installed more hand sanitising 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.
  • Food Safety: Marriott’s food safety programme includes enhanced sanitation guidelines and training videos for all operational associates that includes hygiene and disinfecting practices. All food handlers and supervisors are trained on safe food preparation and service practices. Marriott’s food and beverage operations are required to conduct self-inspection using the company’s food safety standards as guidelines, and compliance is validated by independent audits. In addition, the company has modified its operational practices for in-room dining and designed new approaches to buffets.

Meliá

Meliá Hotels International photo

Meliá Hotels International has signed an international agreement with Bureau Veritas for Global Safe Site certification. This is based on “Stay Safe by Meliá”, a programme for compliance with preventive health and safety measures that establishments in over 40 countries must carry out as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The certification scheme has been designed to verify that Meliá Hotels International has correctly implemented these safety standards and hygiene and disinfection procedures at its hotels.

A final output of the certification agreement will be the creation of an operational guide. This will serve Meliá Hotels International as a roadmap, enabling it to rigorously apply the health and safety recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and public authorities in each country.

Millennium Hotels & Resorts

Millennium Hotels & Resorts are taking extra precautionary measures as its hotels uphold the highest standards of safety and cleanliness.

Measures include:

  • Rigorous cleaning and sanitisation of guest rooms (100 checkpoint process)
  • Frequent sanitisation of high-contact points, such as elevator buttons, door handles, reception counters, bathrooms and conference rooms
  • Increased frequency of cleaning air filters, sanitising the filter and surrounding area
  • Hand sanitisers placed at guest contact areas, such as hotel lobbies and conference space
  • Infrared thermometers available at front desk to conduct temperature checks of guests and employees, upon request
  • Provision of medical masks and gloves for guests and employees, available upon request at reception

ONYX Hospitality Group

ONYX Hospitality Group, a medium-sized hospitality player in the Asia Pacific region, enhances hygiene and safety with ONYX Clean. This enhanced operational hygiene and safety standards will be implemented across its full portfolio of 52 properties in seven countries including the brands of Amari, OZO, Shama and Oriental Residence Bangkok.

Every property will have to adhere to an updated and consistent list of housekeeping, maintenance and service delivery protocols. ONYX team members are continuously engaged while staying home through online learning platform with a variety of training programmes including in-house produced educational videos that help delivery awareness on pathogen risks and demonstrate the enhanced cleaning and sanitising methodologies and updated guest service protocols.

As part of the “ONYX Clean” initiative, a room seal will be placed on every guest room door to indicate to arriving guests that their personal space has not been tampered with since being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Photo shows a housekeeping team member servicing a room at Shama Lakeview Asoke Bangkok.
As part of the “ONYX Clean” initiative, a room seal will be placed on every guest room door to indicate to arriving guests that their personal space has not been tampered with since being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Photo shows a housekeeping team member servicing a room at Shama Lakeview Asoke Bangkok. (ONYX Hospitality photo)

ONYX Hospitality Group has partnered Ecolab, a global leader in hygiene, safety and energy technology solutions as well as supplier of many cleaning products used by the group properties.

The revised standards of the “ONYX Clean” initiative take into consideration every step of the stay journey that is visible to guests, as well as the ‘unseen’ heart-of-house areas such as team member dining and locker rooms, receiving bay, food and supplies storage, and kitchens. Highlights include:

  • Welcome and arrival – Compulsory temperature readings, hand sanitisation, observation of potential symptoms for all guests and patrons. Every arriving residential guest will be requested to complete an ONYX health and travel questionnaire. Physical distancing will be implemented in the event of queues or waiting and all keys and pens used to complete the check-in procedure will be sanitised. 
  • Guest rooms and suites – A room seal will be placed on every guest room door to indicate to arriving guests that their personal space has not been tampered with since being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Housekeeping team members will service all guest rooms and suites with hotel-issued masks and gloves, with a list of high-touch surfaces such as door handles, TV remotes, room controls and faucets being wiped down with approved sanitisers and further sterilised by UV-C wands.
  • Public Areas – Hourly sanitisation of high-traffic and common-touch areas including door handles and lift buttons. Furniture placement in the lobby and all guest areas will be revised and elevator capacities will be limited to observe safe distancing. Hand sanitisers will be easily available at multiple points and UV-C wands will be used to regularly sterilise seats and tables.
  • Food and beverage outlets – All outlets will be rearranged to ensure a safe distance of at least one metre between tables and clusters of bar chairs, with queue management activated during busy meal periods like breakfast.
  • Kitchens and food preparation – Implementation of advanced hygiene and safety protocols in all kitchen and food preparation zones with stringent sanitation standards to complement the enhanced safety measures in all F&B outlets
  • Spas – Additional temperature readings and hand sanitising for guests prior to consultation and treatment, with issued masks to be worn by every team member and spa therapist at all times.
  • Pool and fitness areas – Enhanced sanitation of sun loungers and pool furniture which will be rearranged to ensure safe distancing. In fitness centres, hand and equipment sanitisers will be easily accessible. During high occupancy periods, guests will be invited to reserve a gym session or sunbed space to minimise crowding.
  • Team member wellness – Mandatory temperature readings and hand sanitisation as team members report for duty, with enhanced grooming and hygiene inspection before the commencement of every shift. Team member locker rooms, dining areas, contact points and heart-of-house corridors and elevators will also be regularly sanitised with safe distancing among colleagues enforced.
  • Receiving bays – Enhanced protocols and collaboration with suppliers to ensure maximum hygiene during deliveries, and temperature reading for delivery persons and hygiene screening for vehicles and equipment.

Outrigger Hospitality Clean Commitment

Outrigger Hospitality Group is committed to providing an elevated standard of cleanliness. Outrigger’s Clean Commitment guidelines were designed in consultation with healthcare leaders and developed with Ecolab. It also meets the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) ‘Stay Safe’ enhanced industry-wide hotel cleaning standards.

Outrigger Hospitality Group Photo

Outrigger’s Clean Commitment is rooted in The Outrigger Way – the guiding ethos that captures Outrigger’s tradition of hospitality and mutual respect for host, guest and place.

State-of-the-art technology, cleaning products and procedures in compliance with the latest COVID-19 codes, regulations and brand standards have been put in place and applies to operations including host training, social and physical distancing, surface cleaning and disinfecting, general housekeeping, maintenance and overall host and guest health.

Qatar Airways Temporary Additional Safety Measures

Qatar Airways Photo

Qatar Airways has announced on 18 May 2020 that it will further enhance its onboard safety measures for passengers and cabin crew. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits for cabin crew will be worn onboard. A modified service will reduce interactions between passengers and crew in flight. Cabin crew have already been wearing PPE during flights for a couple of weeks including gloves and face masks. They will wear the PPE suit over their uniforms in addition to safety goggles, gloves and a mask.

Passengers are required to bring their own and wear face coverings inflight since 25 May 2020.

Other measures include:

  • Business Class meals will be served on a tray instead of a table set up. A cutlery wrap will be offered to passengers as an alternative to individual cutlery service.
  • Economy class meals and cutlers will be served sealed as usual.
  • Large bottles of hand sanitiser will be placed in the galleys for cabin crew and passengers.
  • Social areas onboard the aircraft have been closed to observe social distancing measures.

Qatar Airways aircraft are regularly disinfected using cleaning products recommended by the International Air Transport Association and the World Health Organisation. Its aircraft are equipped with industrial-size HEPA filters. All the airline’s onboard linens and blankets are washed, dried and pressed at microbial lethal temperatures, while its headsets are removed of ear foams and rigorously sanitised after each flight. These items are then sealed into individual packaging by staff wearing hygienic disposable gloves. Meal service utensils and cutlery are washed with detergents and rinsed with demineralised fresh water at temperatures that kill pathogenic bacteria.

Hamad International Airport has also invested in deploying disinfectant robots, fully autonomous mobile emitting concentrated UV-C light known to be effective in eliminating the majority of infectious microorganisms.

Qatar Airways has revised its distribution of cabin crew on flights, sending two groups on short-haul and medium-haul flights – the first to manage the outbound trip, the second to manage the inbound trip. For long-haul flights, crew members who have to stay overnight in a foreign city can only travel in Qatar Airways-approved transport and must remain in their rooms, limiting human interactions. 

Radisson Hotel Group

Radisson Hotel Group partners SGS to launch Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol, a new programme of in-depth cleanliness and disinfection procedures. SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. After conducting a thorough review of all existing health and safety processes, Radisson Hotel Group worked with a team of experts to develop and validate additional protocols. They will be adapted based on local requirements and recommendations. The safety protocol will further strengthen Radisson Hotel Groups existing rigorous sanitation, cleanliness and infection guidelines at hotels globally.

Radisson Hotel Group will soon be announcing an extension to its brand commitment which includes 20 Steps and an additional 10-Step protocol for Meetings & Events. The company expects to complete all the necessary operational details of this programme over the next few weeks. Principles under consideration include:

  • Increased cleaning and disinfection frequency of all hotel areas, paying special attention to high-touch items
  • Stations installed with alcohol-based hand sanitiser 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 minimise 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 programmes for team members
  • Team members provided with Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves

Sands Resorts Macao launches ‘Sands SafeStay’

Sands Resorts Macao has launched Sands SafeStay, a programme of cleanliness and disinfection measures. It includes hundreds of individual measures to keep guests and staff safe and ensure their peace of mind while visiting and working at The Venetian Macao, The Parisian Macao, Sands Cotai Central and Sands Macao.

There are three focus areas:

  • Sanitisation – Hospital grade disinfectant from Ecolab and Diversey used with a 360-degree approach to sanitisation in public spaces and communal areas, restrooms, meeting and convention spaces, casinos, restaurants, bars, shopping malls and recreational facilities. Dedicated teams have been established to increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting, with each following guidelines that meet or exceed local authority recommendations. Stringent cleaning and disinfecting protocols for guest rooms have been radically upgraded which also includes sterilisation of key cards for around 12,500 hotel room prior to check-in.
  • Prevention – Social distancing where guests are required to stay at least a metre from others while in queues, using elevators and moving around the integrated resorts. Restaurant tables, slot machines and gaming tables have been arranged to ensure appropriate space between guests. Thermal detectors, face masks and sanitisers are used by team members to fulfil their daily duties and protect guests and other team members. Venue capacity fo recreational facilities such as Eiffel Tower, Qube, gondola rides and swimming pools as well as meeting and convention spaces has been adjusted to ensure essential social distancing.
  • Contactless Services – Contactless payment offers customers a safer way to pay as well as speed up the checkout process. Contactless digital payment systems such as Alipay, WeChat Pay and MPay is accepted at over 650 outlets at shopping malls, restaurants, box offices and hotels across the integrated resorts. Enjoy express check-in through the Sands Resorts Macao website or mobile app. eTicketing allows guests to purchase tickets through WeChat and other mobile apps. Guests can also enter attractions like the Eiffel Tower at The Parisian Macao and upcoming teamLab SuperNature through eGating by scanning the code using their mobile phones.

United Airlines

United CleanPlus (United Airlines photo)

United Airlines launched United CleanPlus with the goal of delivering and industry-leading standard of cleanliness. United Airlines has partnered Clorox and Cleveland Clinic to inform and guide the airline’s new cleaning, safety and social distancing protocols that includes touchless kiosks in selected location for baggage check-in, sneeze guards, mandatory face coverings for crew and customers, and giving customers options when flights are more full.

Chlorox products will be used at United’s hub airports and medical experts from the Cleveland Clinic will advise on new technologies, training development and quality assurance programming.

To date, United has implemented more than a dozen new policies and procedures aligned with United CleanPlus that are designed with health and safety in mind, including:

In Airport Lobbies・Reducing touchpoints by temporarily shutting down self-service kiosks and beginning to roll out, in select locations, touchless kiosks that allow customers to print bag tags using their own device to scan a QR code. 
・Actively promoting social distancing with enhanced signage, including a 6 ft. rule at the ticket counters which allows for minimal contact between agents and customers. 
・Deploying sneeze guards at key interaction points, including at our check-in counters.
At the Gate・Boarding fewer customers at a time to allow for more distance during the boarding process, minimizing crowding at the gate and jet bridge. 
・Asking our customers to self-scan their boarding passes at our gate readers. 
・Equipping our employees with disinfecting products available so they can disinfect high-touch areas including armrests and handrails.
In the United Clubs・Protective sneeze guards installed at our credentialing desks and customer services minimizing contact between our guests and team members 
・Enhanced team member safety and well-being by requiring the use of personal protective equipment 
・Increased the frequency of cleaning our high-touch surfaces and equipping our team members with disinfectant cleaning products 
・Removed seating at the bar area to actively promote physical distancing 
・Pre-packaged food and beverages are only available at the bar area to reduce customer touch points
Onboard Aircraft・Since May 22, United has introduced an “all in one” economy snack bag that replaced the economy beverage and complimentary snack choice service on domestic flights scheduled 2 hours and 20 minutes or more. This bag will include a wrapped sanitiser wipe, an 8.5 oz. bottled water, a Stroopwafel and a package of pretzels 
・Enhancing cabin sanitisation including electrostatic spraying, which will happen before every flight starting this June. 
・Requiring all employees and customers on board to wear a mask or face covering, helping protect each other. 
・Supplying individually wrapped hand sanitiser wipes to customers as they board. 
・Limiting advance seat selections where possible and allowing customers to take alternative flights when we expect a flight to operate over 70% capacity.
Behind the Scene・Implementing employee temperature checks before the start of their workday, better safeguarding their health as well as their teammates’ and customers’. 
・Employees are producing hand sanitiser that is being used throughout the airline

Uniworld

 MS River Tosca by Uniworld

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has enhanced their health and safety protocols after an extensive review of the existing procedures and consideration of every touch point and interaction between crew and guests.

As an extension to the rigorous sanitation procedures Uniworld already has in place, other new guest measures include:

  • All guests must complete health screening prior to embarkation
  • Fruits, cookies, chips, nuts, candies and other treats will be served to individual guests by the crew only. These treats are no longer available for self-service
  • Disinfect wipes will be available throughout the ship, including at coffee stations and in the public restrooms
  • Any onboard payments will be processed using a contactless payment method and credit card machines will be wiped after each pin entry
  • All restaurant dining will have reserved seating, with guests at the same table, with the same people, each day
  • Items that are usually shared, like bread and butter, will now be served to each person individually
  • Gloves, face masks and bottles of hand sanitiser will be readily available for all guests
  • For excursions, the maximum occupancy per bus will be adjusted to reduce the total number of people together at one time

Uniworld’s already stringent crew protocol has also been reviewed and enhanced. In addition to the extensive and required professional health and hygiene HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) training that all crew receive, they will receive regular health screenings and are expected to adhere to social distancing requirements, all public and private crew quarters are sanitised regularly; plus now, crew meals are served – no self-service allowed. 

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts “Count on Us”

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts launched “Count on Us’ initiative on 4 May 2020. The new long-term, multi-faceted initiative was launched to build confidence among guests and support franchisees as it begins making preparations to welcome travellers back to its over 6,000 hotels in the U.S..

The group will be launching this initiative for over 160 hotels in the South East Asia and Pacific Rim region.

Key early components of the new initiative—designed to be cost neutral when combined with other recent operational changes—are slated to begin rolling out in the coming weeks and include:

  • Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection of Guestrooms and Public Spaces – Wyndham will require consistent use of Ecolab’s EPA-approved disinfectants in all U.S. hotel guestrooms and public spaces to help deliver an elevated and more consistent cleaning experience nationwide while providing hotel owners and their team members with access to Ecolab’s best-in-class training and resources, including a field team of more than 2,000 on-the-ground experts ready to assist hotels.
  • Easy Access to COVID-19 Health Essentials – Wyndham will leverage its scale and relationships with world class distributors to begin drop-shipping critical products to its hotels across the U.S. within the next 30 days. Items will include face masks for hotel team members, hand sanitiser for distribution in public areas and guestrooms, and disinfectant wipes for guests. Leveraging volume discounts pre-negotiated by Wyndham, these items will be made available at cost to hotel owners with the Company financing all initial shipments and deferring payments from hotels until September 1, 2020.
  • Delivering on the Promise of a “Safe Stay” – As a member of The AHLA Safe Stay Advisory Council, Wyndham has joined with other industry leaders as well as public health experts, scientists and medical leaders to develop a series of industry best practices and guidelines that focus on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols to meet the new health and safety challenges presented by COVID-19. In coordination with the rollout of these guidelines, Wyndham will be implementing a series of mandatory virtual trainings for all hotels while providing additional resources like housekeeping checklists, which hotels can use with team members to ensure consistency and accountability in execution.
  • A Visible Commitment to Guests – Wyndham is also taking steps to ensure guests and hotel team members can physically see the above efforts and trust in their impact. On property, guests will be offered sanitising wipes along with their keycards at check in, notice social distancing enhancing measures in public spaces, observe increased frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas, and can utilise complimentary travel-size hand sanitiser in each room. To further amplify these efforts, Wyndham will make available to hotels a suite of branded collateral emphasising key safety measures. Similar messaging will also make its way onto the Company’s brand websites, emails and social channels.

Count on Us is an extension of Wyndham’s signature Count on Me® service culture. In the last month alone, Wyndham has taken unprecedented steps to provide substantial financial assistance to its thousands of hotel owners; united with leading companies to offer alternative employment opportunities to displaced Wyndham team members;  updated its policies to provide travelers and Wyndham Rewards members with increased travel flexibility; and launched #EverydayHeroes, a new initiative honouring essential workers on the frontlines of COVID-19. In the months to come, the Company will look for new ways to bring Count on Us to life, including exploring opportunities to expand the initiative to its hotels around the world.

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7 Comments Already

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