15 Jul Making your accommodation programme fit for purpose
Many hotels across the UK have been re-opening their doors to customers after a challenging few months, but it may be some time before business travel returns to normal. With corporate RFPs postponed until 2021, as recommended by the CEO of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), now is the time for travel managers to review their accommodation programmes and make them fit for purpose in a post-Covid world.
Duty of care, hygiene, and distancing measures
Hotels are actively reviewing and updating their existing hygiene and health standards to ensure they can get back into full operation post Covid-19 and meet a growing demand for new health and safety requirements. In fact, 93 percent of travel buyers expressed duty of care, hygiene, and social distancing measures as their top considerations for the year ahead.
Health, safety, hygiene, and security questions are included in RFP. However, it is extremely difficult for travel managers to assess whether these measures are in place, effective and maintained. The historical approach of providing a cursory look over RFP responses to health, safety, hygiene, and security questions is no longer satisfactory. After all, travel managers will be the ones in the firing line if these standards are not met.
Confidence in hotel cleanliness and health security
Hotels which have an embedded security culture are more likely to prove most effective in creating the protective health environment that travellers and those with a duty of care for them will expect.
Why? Because the disciplines of security mirror the disciplines of health protection, including:
- Understanding the threat – in this case, Covid-19
- Designing, testing, and implementing standard operating procedures (SOPs) to deliver strategy and tactics
- Robust staff training programmes and testing performance
The GSA Approach
In this new landscape of increased hygiene concern, hotels need to reassure their guests and employees that hotel cleanliness and health security are top priorities.
GSA assesses hotel security and health & safety standards in partnership with UK regulated Awarding Organisation, SFJ Awards. GSA and SFJ Awards, can provide additional assurance through independent certification and accreditation which has international application.
Bex Deadman, Managing Director at Blue Cube Travel, says: “We cannot emphasise enough how important the benchmark and independent accreditation is that GSA is setting. The hospitality industry is desperately in need of a set of standards that work across all regions and deals with health, safety, and security directly for our travellers and suppliers’ staff.”
She adds: “We stand fully behind the GSA standards and are actively asking our hotel partners to become independently accredited to provide our clients with the additional assurance that their employees’ health and safety whilst travelling, is being held to a recognised standard”.
Is this an opportunity to set a new ‘health security’ benchmark in corporate travel and build a safer environment for hotel guests and employees for years to come? GSA can offer security accreditation for hotel properties to include health, safety and hygiene, meeting growing market needs. Head to https://www.gsaccreditation.com/about-accreditation/covid-19/ to find out more about our COVID-19 Pandemic Level Hygiene and Heath Security Certification.