AAHOA’s “Pledge to Protect Our Guests, Employees, and Businesses” initiative provides education on the benefits of vaccination and resources to arrange those inoculations. Hoteliers will provide time, reduce barriers and consider incentives to encourage their employees to get vaccinated while also encouraging COVID-19 safety precautions, including wearing masks and social distancing.

MULTIPLE VACCINES FOR COVID-19 are being distributed at an accelerated rate throughout the U.S. and hotel workers have been bumped up in the schedule for qualified recipients. Now, AAHOA is assisting its members in prioritizing getting their employees vaccinated.

The association’s “Pledge to Protect Our Guests, Employees, and Businesses” initiative provides education on the benefits of vaccination and resources to arrange those inoculations. Hoteliers who sign the pledge will provide time, reduce barriers and consider incentives to encourage their employees to get vaccinated when they are available. They also will encourage COVID-19 safety precautions, including wearing masks and social distancing.

“In the fight against COVID-19, the most critical step hoteliers can take right now to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their employees and their guests is to encourage their employees to get vaccinated,” said Cecil Staton, AAHOA president and CEO. “We are entering an important stage as our country begins to reopen and resume pre-pandemic activities. We anticipate that consumer confidence will increase as more Americans get vaccinated, and people will begin to travel once again.”

The U.S. government is now on track to acquire enough vaccines by the end of May to provide shots for every adult in the country two months ahead of schedule.

“Our industry is resilient, and I have great optimism that we will not only overcome this pandemic this year but we will also get our economy back on track. Hotel owners are ready and willing to continue doing their part to help protect their workers, their guests, and their communities,” said Biran Patel, AAHOA chairman.

The White House’s COVID-19 Response Team and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are contributing to the Pledge to Protect program. The goal of the program is to educate more than 50,000 hospitality workers about the importance of getting vaccinated and making a plan to do so when possible.

“Vaccinations will help protect hotel associates and guests,” Staton said. “After a year of quarantines, lockdowns, and social distancing, I’m confident that they will also serve as a catalyst for travelers to feel comfortable visiting our hotels again.”

Additional funding for vaccine distribution is included in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act that is expected to pass the House this week.

Hotel workers also recently received higher prioritization in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Categories of Essential Workers, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

“Thanks to AHLA’s ongoing efforts, the CDC has updated its guidelines prioritizing hotel workers under Phase 1c of the COVID-19 vaccines distribution. This is a significant achievement that directly impacts the health and safety of hotel workers across the country. It also recognizes that hotel employees continue to be on the front lines of the pandemic,” said Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO. “From housing healthcare workers and first responders to now supporting the ongoing vaccine distribution, our industry is playing a vital role in supporting our communities as we battle this public health crisis. While hotels have protocols in place to ensure limited contact between employees and guests, prioritizing employees with access to the vaccine would provide another layer of protection.”