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:
Venetian Opens With Clean Commitment
After a nearly three-month closure, The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas opened both the Venetian and Palazzo towers last week. In advance of opening, the team rolled out the Venetian Clean Commitment, its new cleanliness and operational protocols.
Under the Venetian Clean program, the resort experience has been adapted to follow guidance provided by government authorities, represented by more than 800 individual initiatives. These are the top-line details:
- Cleaning: The resort has increased the frequency of routine cleaning in public spaces and adjusted protocols for cleaning guest suites, meeting or exceeding CDC guidelines. This includes the use of disinfectants that are EPA-registered for emerging viral pathogens, and exploring new technologies such as UV lighting and electrostatic sprayers. Throughout the resort, hundreds of individual sanitization stations that include hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes have been installed.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Guests are encouraged to wear personal face masks and gloves while visiting the resort. Face masks will be worn by all team members, which are provided by the resort, along with additional PPE based on role and responsibilities, and in adherence to state or local regulations and guidance. Upon arrival, guests receive a Venetian Clean “personal care” amenity kit in their suites, with two face masks, two sets of gloves, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. Each day, guests are provided fresh masks and gloves. Masks are also provided for day guests, upon request.
- Screening: Thermal scanners have been placed at every entrance to The Venetian Resort and Sands Expo, providing non-invasive temperature checks upon arrival.
- Digital Keys: Check-in and other guest procedures have been updated to include fewer touchpoints, including the introduction of a new digital key technology. Guests can now opt to use their cellphone to electronically open their guest suite door.
- Air Quality: Throughout the resort, the frequency of air filter replacement and HVAC system cleaning has been increased, and fresh-air intake has been maximized to increase external air flow into the building. In specific areas, hospital-grade HEPA filters are used.
- Safety and Security: A team of security officers and certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs) continue to offer service to the entire resort. EMTs are onsite with service available 24 hours a day.
- Training: Team members are undergoing additional Venetian Clean training, including proper handwashing, physical distancing and enhanced sanitization protocols.
- Testing: The Venetian is providing mandatory COVID-19 testing for all team members, as well as optional testing for any members of their immediate families.
Radisson Rolls Out Holistic Recovery Plan in China
Radisson Hotel Group has unveiled a holistic recovery plan for its hotels and resorts in China, as the revival of China’s travel and hospitality industry is now picking up speed following the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The majority of hotels in the country are now open for business and occupancy levels reached close to 50% during the recent Labor Day holiday. This included an upswing in corporate travel in first tier cities such as Beijing, where hotels in the financial district have seen their occupancy triple.
As China rebounds, Radisson Hotel Group has devised a series of measures to enable its hotels to accelerate their recovery, ensure the safety of its guests, team members and business partners and give back to local communities.
The group earlier launched Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol, a program of in-depth cleanliness and disinfection procedures. These include increased cleaning and disinfection in all areas, paying special attention to high-touch items such as door handles and room keys; hand sanitizer stations and gloves in public areas and entrances; express checkouts; cash-free payment options; and the roll-out of special hygiene training and PPE, such as masks and gloves for team members.
To reinforce the message of health and safety, Radisson Hotel Group is working with partners including SGS and Safehotels, which will measure and certify its hotels with a 20-step plan for operations and a 10-step protocol for meetings and events. The company has also aligned with the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) “Safe Travels” initiative for restarting the global tourism industry.
Responsible business is a key part of the recovery strategy, and Radisson Hotel Group has unveiled a program with its Rad Family mascot, Lumi, to help raise funds for a local charity. Lumi, will be sold to brighten up guests’ stays and support the Ai You Foundation’s training and education program for young doctors. Lumi will be available at Radisson Blu, Park Plaza and Radisson hotels and resorts in China starting this month. Guests can do their part for the community by booking on the dedicated room packages, “Radisson Cares,” which include adopting a Lumi with each stay. The campaign is slated to run through the end of the year, with profits from the sale of Lumi will be donated to the appointed charity, Ai You Foundation.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic under control in China, we are cautiously optimistic of an upturn in domestic business,” said Gary Ye, VP, operations, China, Radisson Hotel Group. “Throughout this challenging time, Radisson Hotel Group has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our partners in China, providing extensive support and guidance. We are launching our holistic recovery plan, which focuses on the health and safety of our guests and teams, and gives back to the community.”
Resorts Casino Hotel Launches Play Safe, Work Safe
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City has developed a Play Safe, Work Safe plan to responsibly welcome back guests and team members to the most comfortable and safe environment.
“We want our guests to be able to enjoy the friendly and warm experience that has always been part of our core values but with the addition of new health and safety measures,” said Mark Giannantonio, president/CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel.
The plan includes a significant capital investment to improve air quality, as well as clean and sanitize surfaces across the property. This investment includes the installation of advanced bipolar ionization and UV technology to purify the air and clean surfaces.
Advanced cleaning and decontamination efforts will include the following:
- The installation of UV-C sterilization technology on all escalators to regularly eliminate bacteria and viruses on handrails.
- Mobile ultraviolet light technology that is utilized in the nation’s top hospitals will be used to clean and disinfect areas including hotel rooms and public restrooms.
- Advanced UV technology will also be installed in the air handlers to kill bacteria and viruses.
- The installation of a bipolar ionization air purification system which purifies and disinfects the air flowing into a space and reduces the spread of airborne viruses and bacteria, resulting in healthier indoor air quality.
- Servpro, a professional cleaning company, has disinfected and sanitized the casino complex with their patented electrostatic spraying process.
- The Play Safe, Work Safe plan also includes measures to ensure the health and well-being of team members with mandatory health screening and temperature checks. In addition, team members will be thoroughly trained on the CDC and industry-wide health and safety protocols upon returning to work.
New safety initiatives include:
- Hotel guests can utilize mobile express check-in and checkout.
- Casino and hotel elevators will maintain a maximum occupancy of four people.
- Social distancing will be seen throughout the property.
- Seating in Resorts-owned and tenant-operated restaurants will be reduced to provide a comfortable dining experience.
- Hand sanitizer stations and hand wipes will be readily available throughout the property for the convenience of both guests and team members.
Castle Hospitality Introduces “Castle Cares”
In anticipation of the eventual reopening of Hawaii to travelers from around the world, Castle Hospitality Group, based in Honolulu, has launched “Castle Cares.” The enhanced standards for cleanliness and disinfection will be implemented throughout its two brands, Castle Resorts & Hotels and Castle Vacation Rentals Hawaii.
“Our first priority has always been the health and safety of our guests and staff, and this remains critical as we move closer to welcoming back visitors to the Islands,” said Alan Mattson, president/CEO, Castle Hospitality. “We care, and these enhanced measures will provide peace-of-mind to guests so they can focus on enjoying all that Hawaii has to offer and also protect our staff at the same time.”
As part of its commitment to keep guests and employees healthy and safe, Castle Hospitality Group will roll out enhanced technologies at its properties over the next few months. These technologies may include electrostatic sprayers and/or UV sanitizing wands.
Other increased cleanliness standards will include:
- Increased frequency and usage of CDC-approved disinfectants in all public spaces
- Use of CDC-approved disinfectants in all guestrooms
- For units with dishwashers, pre-washing of four sets of dishware, glassware and utensils in the dishwasher prior to the guest’s arrival, providing a sense of security knowing the dishes are fresh and cleaned
- Placement of personal-sized hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes in each room for guests’ personal use
- Minimum three-day period before staff and new guests can enter cleaned units
To help alleviate the risk of COVID-19 transmission through person-to-person contact, Castle will display signage in its lobbies to remind guests to maintain social distancing protocols. Furniture in the lobby, by the pools and in other public spaces will be removed or rearranged to allow more space for distancing. Hand-sanitizing stations will also be installed throughout Castle’s properties—near the entrances, front desks and elevators.