MANY HOTEL BRANDS and companies have implemented new cleaning and safety protocols to prepare for the return of guests during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hersha Hotels and Resorts has incorporated its “Rest Assured” program with its longstanding sustainability program, EarthView.
The 5-point program includes:
Prioritized safety: Updated cleaning protocols based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization, and American Hotel and Lodging Association use EPA-approved disinfectants with increased frequency, particularly on high-touch surfaces like door handles and elevator buttons. The new cleaning protocols also deploys UV light technology and HEPA filtration.
New approach to operations: We have transformed our operational processes to accommodate physical distancing efforts and established new service offerings to deliver the same guest amenities in reimagined ways.
Restructured accommodations: Technology will allow mobile check-in and contactless dining and fitness options at many hotels across the company’s portfolio.
Proactive communication: To ensure transparency, information about the program is available on Hersha’s website and signage. Employees also have been trained to answer all questions.
Other precautions: Plexiglass partitions have been installed at front desks, hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the hotels and associates have been provided safety gear and equipment.
“Our newly implemented cleanliness program is focused on the well-being our of guests, our associates, and our communities,” said Jay Shah, Hersha’s CEO. “Advanced cleaning practices are complemented by innovative technologies to streamline guest experience and support transparent communication before and throughout our guests’ stays. In preparation of launching ‘Rest Assured,’ our associates have undergone extensive training to ensure we exceed expectations for guest and associates’ health and safety at our hotels,”
In early May, Philadelphia-based Hersha returned money it had received from the federal Paycheck Protection Program that Shah said others may need more.
“The program was underfunded,” Shah told the Philadelphia Inquirer at the time. “It’s just not who we are. We wouldn’t be in the fray here, trying to muscle our neighbor out of getting relief, if they have no other source.”