Global Secure Accreditation, the first independent global standard for security for the hotel industry, announced it is joining forces with Collinson, to create the COVID-19 Certificate of International Good Practice. The new certification provides hotels and venues internationally with evidence they’re meeting best practice when it comes to hygiene security.
The new standards, the only ones to be externally certified by a third-party awarding body, have been designed by security and safety specialists. They’ve been created with input from Collinson’s medical experts and specifically assembled with the best available international knowledge to be applied to the hotel sector. Rather than a one-off certification, GSA provides on-going support to hotels to ensure they are maintaining their standards and along with annual re-certification, guests can be reassured hygiene standards are consistently high, rather than just at one moment in time.
In a recent Global Business Travel Association survey, 96% of respondents reported that guidelines and standards are critically important for the hotel industry. The certification, the only one to be backed by the UK Government’s global awarding body, SFJ Awards, comes as hotels and venues look to gradually open up again globally, after having to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the definition of safety and security changes to place greater emphasis on hygiene and health, the certification is a way for hospitality companies to show guests their establishment is meeting the highest of standards – those specifically developed in light of COVID-19 – and that are based on an accountable, managed and measured system.
“Hotels and other hospitality venues worldwide were some of the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Independent and on-going accreditation of standards will be essential to making guests feel comfortable visiting these establishments again, and that’s critical to the recovery of the industry,” said Brian Moore, Operations Director, GSA. “Travelers know they are in good hands when they are staying at a hotel assessed by GSA. Our COVID-19 Certificate of International Good Practice isn’t just a one-time certification. We’re thrilled to be working alongside Collinson on the certification, giving hotels ongoing resources for making their guests feel secure as they open up again after the nationwide lockdown.”
For extra peace of mind, hotel operators also have the option of adding ColIinson’s Pandemic Support Hotline. The service provides 24/7 direct, confidential access to medically trained experts who can specifically answer questions related to COVID-19, giving hotels accurate information on what to do to take appropriate care, based on both the latest regional and international information. While response plans in general should be formed by each individual hotel, the Collinson team can give advice on the most suitable next steps. For instance, whether testing should occur, if local authorities should be informed or where to go if the local hospital is on lockdown.
“It’s important guests feel confident hotels are doing all they can to keep them safe if the travel and hospitality sector is to recover. The GSA’s COVID-19 Certificate of International Good Practice is a great way for hotels to reopen, while proving to guests just how seriously they take their safety,” said Dr. Simon Worrell, Global Medical Director, Collinson. “The certification has been formed based on a depth of technical research, as well as practical application of the way this information affects the hotel sector. The standards cover all areas of a hotel’s operation, from check-in to check-out and they provide reassurance to staff and guests that the hotel has taken every possible step to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. For those hotels that do select the Pandemic Support Hotline, access to round-the-clock medical advice is invaluable, providing recommendations on hygiene best practices and answering symptom-related questions should a guest or staff member become unwell on the premises.”
Applicants for certification will be measured by how they are functioning to control the virus from entering the property to limit any ability for a virus to spread within the property, and to ensure they have a Response Plan in the event of any suspicious health event, whilst delivering the best possible customer experience for guests.
Demonstrating a Duty of Care
The first hotel to receive the COVID-19 Certificate of International Good Practice, Martin Elsner, Regional Director Italy, Rocco Forte Hotels, adds “The safety and comfort of our guests and staff is always a priority in everything that we do at Rocco Forte Hotels,” added “We chose the GSA Certificate, accredited by a UK Government-approved, independent global standards awarding body, because it demonstrates our commitment to maintaining high levels of protection and hygiene.”
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