AHLA provides safety checklist for travelers

Requiring face coverings tops the list of tips for hotel guests

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The top of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s “Safe Stay Guest Checklist” is requiring hotel employees and other guests wear face coverings.

“SAFE TRAVELS” IS no longer just a casual farewell in the age of COVID-19. Those two words now form the basis of recovery from the pandemic for the hotel industry, and the American Hotel & Lodging Association has released a checklist to help hotel guests achieve it.

AHLA’s “Safe Stay Guest Checklist” is part of its Safe Stay initiative launched in May. The checklist includes:

  • Require hotel employees and other guests use face coverings in all indoor public spaces and practice social distancing in all common areas.
  • Choose contactless options, where available, including online reservations, check-ins, and payments.
  • Use daily room cleaning only if necessary. Ask the hotel about options.
  • Request contactless room service delivery.
  • Refrain from traveling if you have, or recently had, any symptoms of COVID-19 or contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.

“Utilizing these best practices, including requiring face coverings and practicing social distancing in public spaces, will create an even safer environment for all our guests and employees,” said Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO. “As an industry, we want every guest to experience a clean and safe hotel no matter where they stay. We applaud governors who have standardized the use of face coverings in all indoor public spaces and we urge all lawmakers to help make this a national standard by implementing this requirement in their states. These preventative measures make it safer and easier for Americans to travel while also supporting hotel and tourism employees.”

The CEOs of Hilton, Hyatt Hotels Corp., InterContinental Hotels Group, Loews Hotels & Co., Radisson Hotel Group, Marriott International and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts all endorsed the checklist, particularly the first item on the list, facemasks.

Hilton employees are required to use face coverings as part of the company’s CleanStay program, said Chris Nassetta, president and CEO.

“We are supportive of the industry adopting consistent guidelines and practices that adhere to public health guidelines, including the wearing of face coverings indoors and in public areas,” Nassetta said.

Hyatt also requires face masks, said Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO

“To help enable safe travel amidst the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, we need to come together as an industry and promote clear guidelines, which for the foreseeable future include the wearing of face coverings in indoor public spaces and practicing social distancing,” Hoplamazian said.

“It is critical we take action to protect the health and safety of guests and colleagues to build confidence in travel as the industry begins to recover,” said Elie Maalouf, IHG CEO for the Americas. “Requiring face coverings in all indoor public spaces across our industry will help create an even safer environment for all travelers and frontline hotel colleagues.”

Taking the right safety steps is a social obligation, said Jonathan Tisch, Loews chairman & CEO.

“As hotel operators and owners, we have a role and responsibility to provide a welcoming, safe and comfortable environment for team members, guests and our communities, and now more than ever we need to ensure we are exceeding expectations in this area,” he said.

“Health guidance is clear on wearing masks and it is a simple step everyone can take when in public spaces of hotels to protect themselves, each other and associates,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s CEO.

The industry, and the country, need to work together on this, Jim Alderman, Radisson CEO for the Americas, said.

“One of the easiest ways to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 is by wearing a face covering, especially indoors,” he said.

“We all must play a role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and encouraging the adoption of these guidelines is an important and meaningful step for us to take together,” Jim Alderman, Radisson CEO for the Americas, said. “This easy-to-follow checklist can help protect our guests, team members, and franchisees, as well as the countless communities in which we operate.”

Everyone must play a role in keeping the nation same, said Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO of Wyndham.

“This easy-to-follow checklist can help protect our guests, team members, and franchisees, as well as the countless communities in which we operate,” he said.

AHLA also recently launched COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels, an online course developed in partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) to help hotels train their staffs on the enhanced safety and cleanliness guidelines.