Travelers everywhere are wondering how they can be safe while staying in overnight accommodations. Pet-friendly hotel chains and vacation rentals around the world are easing their customers’ uncertainty by unveiling new plans and protocols for cleanliness and prevention as they reopen. Check out what these popular brands are doing to give you and your furry family members a happy and healthy stay.
Posted by Erin Ballinger
Guidelines for "The New Normal"
The U.S. Travel Association recently released new guidelines to help travel-related businesses reopen during “the new normal.” Most of these practices are the same as those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and include increased cleaning and hand washing, the installation of physical barriers, usage of masks and gloves, and adherence to social distancing.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) has also come out with new procedures to help Americans stay safe and give them the confidence they need to travel again. These include social distancing with touchless payment and check-in options, and enhanced cleaning techniques for hotels.
Airbnb and individual pet-friendly hotel chains, including Best Western, Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Marriott, and Wyndham, have announced new cleaning initiatives in response to the coronavirus pandemic as the hotel industry strives to implement new standards across the board to make guests feel safe.
Airbnb’s Cleaning Protocol guidelines will offer recommendations to hosts for personal protective gear (PPE) such as masks and gloves to use while cleaning. A mandatory 24 hours between guests will be required for hosts participating in the Cleaning Protocol. Airbnb hosts will also have the option of an online safety feature that automatically spaces bookings 72 hours apart as an extra precaution.
Choice Hotels announced a new cleaning program, Commitment to Clean, which will institute a higher sanitation standard for public areas like front desks, personal protective equipment for staff, and the rearranging of furniture to promote social distancing. The hotel chain will be partnering with Ecolab and following the guidance of the CDC, World Health Organization, U.S. Travel Association and AHLA's Safe Stay Advisory Council.
Hilton is partnering with the Mayo Clinic and the company behind Lysol to ensure cleanliness in its hotels. The goal of the chain’s program, Hilton CleanStay, is to give travelers peace of mind whether they are in guest rooms, dining areas, fitness centers, or other public spaces. Initiatives in development include removal of pen and paper in favor of digital communication including contactless check-in, digital keys, an official room seal indicating that a room hasn’t been entered after being deep-cleaned, and the use of electrostatic sprayers and ultraviolet light during the sanitation process.
Hyatt’s new Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment measures will rely on infectious disease and occupational health experts and industry professionals to keep guests healthy. By September 2020, each Hyatt property hopes to have an on-site “hygiene manager” who will oversee that the hotel adheres to the new standards. These may include prominent hand sanitizer placement, food safety and hygiene protocol implementation for restaurants and room service, social distancing guidelines, and increased cleaning frequency with hospital-grade disinfectants on high-contact surfaces, in public areas and in guest rooms.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)
Starting June 1, InterContinental Hotels Group brands will launch the IHG Clean Promise initiative developed by the company's new Global Cleanliness Board. Newly appointed Clean Champions will focus on guest and staff wellness, and help on-property teams consistently deliver elevated cleanliness standards. Under guidance from the Cleveland Clinic, new safety implementations may include social distancing operating procedures and signage, use of personal protective equipment by staff, guest amenity cleaning kits, and hand sanitizers and cleaning wipes in hotel rooms and public areas.
Marriott’s Commitment to Cleanliness means updating its cleaning regime to include the use of electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectants to sanitize its hotels. The sprayers will be utilized in guest rooms, lobbies, gyms and other public areas with cleaning agents recommended by the CDC and the WHO to kill all known pathogens. The hotel chain is also testing sanitizing room keys with ultraviolet light technology, adding hand sanitizer stations, and placing signs in the lobbies to promote social distancing.
Wyndham’s new initiative, Count on Us, features updated cleaning and disinfection procedures for guest rooms and public spaces, with access to health essentials like disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers. Hotel employees will also wear face masks. Wyndham plans to partner with Ecolab and use its disinfectant cleaners throughout its hotels.