Hospitality conglomerate Marriott International announced on Tuesday that it would be implementing a multifaceted program to increase cleanliness standards, alter hospitality norms, and shift behaviours regarding health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are living in a new age, with COVID-19 front and center for our guests and our associates,” President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International Arne Sorenson said in a press release.
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Sorenson hopes the initiative will provide guests with a further understanding as to what the company is doing now and in the future to promote better hygiene practices.
He explains that these new measures serve to ease the minds of guests “so that when they walk through the doors of one of our hotels, they know our commitment to their health and safety is our priority.”
Thus, the organization has created the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council.
According to the release, the focus of the council is to develop a new global standard for cleanliness in hospitality as well as encourage new behaviours to minimize risk and enhance safety for guests and associates.
The council is presided over by Ray Bennet, Chief Global Officer for Global Operations for Marriott International.
It will receive input and feedback from both internal and external experts, including leaders from various Marriott departments such as housekeeping, engineering, and food safety, as well as others.
“Marriott has a long tradition of emphasizing cleanliness in our care of guest rooms and in the public spaces of our hotels,” Bennet stated in the release.
“Through the council and scientific advice of experts, we are taking a thoughtful approach to set an even higher bar of cleanliness and develop new guest interaction protocols.”
Marriott will be rolling out new technologies in the coming months as part of the new initiative, including electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectants to sterilize surfaces throughout hotels.
The company will also place signs in hotel lobbies to remind guests of the importance of physical distancing. It will also remove or rearrange furniture to provide additional space to enable physical distancing.
Marriott is also considering installing partitions at front desks as an additional safety measure and is collaborating with supply chain partners to ensure that masks and gloves are available for staff.
Additionally, according to the release, in over 3,200 Marriott hotels, guests can opt to use their phones for check-in, room access, to make special requests, and order room service that will be specially packaged and brought to their room with contactless delivery.
“Safety for our guests and associates has always been a top priority for Marriott and today that discussion of safety is in the context of COVID-19,” Bennet stated.
“We want our guests to know that we are doing everything we can to welcome them back to a safe and clean hotel environment when they start traveling again.”