INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP, like most hotel companies at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, is establishing new cleaning and behavioral practices to put future guests at ease. The company also is working with science companies to design the protocols for its Clean Promise program.
IHG Clean Promise includes input from the Cleveland Clinic as well as hygiene and cleaning services companies Ecolab and Diversey as an expansion of the company’s Way of Clean program established in 2015. It incorporates advice of the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and local public health authorities.
“The future of travel may look different, but a safe, secure stay is fundamental to deliver True Hospitality – and that will never change,” said Keith Barr, IHG’s CEO. “By combining IHG’s world-class knowledge and processes, with cutting-edge expertise from Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey, we can reassure guests and colleagues that we’re focused on protecting their health and wellbeing. This includes looking at where technology can make a difference, deploying enhanced, highly visible and more frequent cleaning measures, and different approaches to food and beverage, all underpinned by our new IHG Clean Promise.”
New cleaning procedures include:
- Reduced contact at check-in using touchless transactions and front desk screens as well as sanitizer stations, sanitized key cards and paperless checkout.
- Visible verification of sanitized items in guestrooms, such as glassware and remote controls, along with a reduction of in-room furnishings and high-touch items. There also will be new laundry protocols and use of new technology.
- Additional deep cleaning of high-touch surfaces in public areas, encouragement of social distancing, charts to track cleaning and best practices for pools, fitness centers and lounges.
- New standards and service approach to buffets, banquets, room service and catering.
The Cleveland Clinic helped the company establish its policies for protecting employees and guests. Those policies include posting cleanliness information in hotels and booking channels, social distancing procedures and signage, use of personal protection equipment and more training.
IHG’s Clean Promise program begins on June 1 and will be led by IHG’s new Global Cleanliness Board, a group of IHG experts in operations, health, safety and guest experience, working with a new external specialists, including James Merlino, chief clinical transformation officer at Cleveland Clinic, to define solutions, best practice and implement processes.
Other hotel companies have established similar cleaning policies over the past months since the COVID-19 pandemic began.