Travel Confidently - Part 5

A New Culture of Cleanliness and Prevention

These days, a more contactless stay may mean a more pleasant stay for guests. Hotel signage will also include QR codes with information on what guests should know about what services and amenities are available.

It’s an indication of how much the hotel experience has had to change in order to minimize the risk of COVID-19. It is a culture shift for both guests and associates.

In order to stay abreast of the new information and cleaning protocols related to the virus, hotels have employed cleanliness champions who receive an elevated level of training to ensure that new cleaning standards are being maintained, while general managers are also receiving additional training and must certify every 30 days that their hotel is adhering to new protocols.

This rigorous level of training follows the blueprint set by J. Willard Marriott more than 90 years ago and shows the commitment that hotel staff must have to maintain the confidence of guests looking for that extra peace of mind.

Guests have a role to play in this new culture of cleanliness and prevention, as well, especially by embracing the requirement to wear masks, particularly if traveling in the U.S. and Canada; maintaining 6-foot social distance from other guests and hotel staff; and washing or sanitizing hands frequently. Changing our behavior may be the hardest but most important thing we can all do.

“As chief of the Infectious Control Committee for 20 years in a hospital, I can tell you that it’s very difficult to get nurses and doctors to wash their hands, mainly because that is actually an unnatural human act,” Dr. Sauri says. “What is a natural human act is to touch your face 25 times an hour. So, we all have to change our behavior if we want to thwart the spread of this particular respiratory virus.”

A part of our behavior change should be in how we prepare to travel, too. In the past, before-you-go research may have involved considering the best time of year to travel or the coolest neighborhoods to visit. Now, pre-trip planning should also include understanding local, state, regional and country rules and mandates surrounding the virus, plus the levels of infection in the area, along with taking your own precautions to minimize risk.

We’ve heard the phrase “we’re all in this together” before, but it really couldn’t be truer, or more essential, to reclaiming the travel experiences we all miss so much.