Under a new industry-wide safety checklist put forward by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, leading hotels like Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn, Hilton, Hyatt, Loews, and Marriott, are taking steps to minimize the risk and uncertainty for reluctant travelers.
“We believe the traveling public understands and appreciates this additional, temporary measure to safeguard the wellbeing of both hotel guests and colleagues,” Jacob Hawkins, director of communications at IHG Americas, told FOX Business.
IHG-brands hotels are adopting the hotel association guidelines as a complement to the protocols in its IHG Way of Clean and the COVID-19 best practices implemented in partnership with the Cleveland clinic. The IHG will provide face coverings at no extra charge for guests if needed or requested.
The mask requirement comes as the latest major industry-wide update as hotels evolve procedures in response to COVID-19.
As part of hotel associations Stay Safe guidelines, a set of health and safety protocols aimed to ensure health and safety for employees and hotel-goers, the Stay Safe Guest Checklist includes a standard set of practices for a safe hotel experience nationwide.
“It’s important that anyone staying, or planning a stay, in a hotel know what is required no matter where they travel,” President and CEO of AHLA Chip Rogers told FOX Business. “We believe this will instill confidence with guests and employees that hotels are indeed safe places to visit and work.”
In addition to a mask requirement, recommendations include contactless options for reservations, check-ins and payments, contactless room service delivery, and heightened precautions for travelers who have, or recently had, symptoms of COVID-19 or made recent contact with anyone diagnosed with the virus. Hotels will also halt daily room cleaning unless necessary.
The hotel association developed the Safe Stay guidelines with the help of outside industry experts such as Ecolab and with official CDC review.
“According to recent polling, consumers say that cleanliness is the most important factor when choosing a hotel and our Safe Stay guidelines help create peace of mind for both guests and employees,” Rogers said. “In fact, staying at a hotel is consistently ranked as low risk by experts and we’ve seen an uptick in leisure travelers this summer as they look for drive-to locations in an effort to get away. Hospitality is, and will always be, about people serving people.”