We are all familiar with the top brand hotels, we find them in almost every major city or travel destination around the world. These hotels are often the preferred choice for travellers as they’re familiar, trusted, and it’s likely that most of us have stayed at one of them at some point. However, what do we actually know about these brands? Many people might think the brand owns and manages the hotels and would therefore expect the same level of security from every hotel within the chain and assume this to be the case. The truth of the matter is, they rarely do!

The reality is, most of the big brand hotels have various models where they may manage services for some of the hotels, lend their brand to a franchising model, and usually actually own or directly manage very few of the hotels bearing their brand. Instead, they lend their name and image to third-party owners, and so the management of the building and its operations are run independently (or through a third-party hotel management company). As a result, what we find is that, despite the best efforts of the brand, security practices can vary considerably and are often inconsistent throughout the chain. Furthermore, when it comes to security, it’s common to find that there are often conflicts between the corporate brand and the franchised owners or managers of the hotel on the interpretation of what security measures should be implemented and the levels of investment required to provide adequate safety for its guests. Most brands have recommended security policies and conduct security reviews which result in recommendations, but the hotel is often retained by the brand even when those recommendations are not implemented.

If it can’t be assumed that a hotel has adequate security based solely on the brand, how can a traveller judge which hotels takes security seriously? A Global Secure Accreditation (GSA) mark is an independent security accreditation which objectively assesses each hotel against international security standards, regardless of the brand, management or ownership of the hotel. GSA do not accredit a brand or chain based solely on name or reputation but on the individual hotel and the standard of security implemented within the establishment. Moreover, the standards are risk-based, and specifically designed to ensure that appropriate levels of security are implemented depending on the unique environment and risk profile of the individual hotel.

In a world of uncertainty and diverse risk to travellers, Global Secure Accreditation enables travellers to make informed travel decisions beyond the brand name and provides piece of mind that their chosen hotel takes its security and the duty of care of its guests seriously.