Corporate TravelThe new programme allows hotels to showcase their cleanliness standards to corporate buyers and business travellers during the RFP and shopping process

HRS and SGS draw up new hotel hygiene protocol for corporate travellers

HRS partners with SGS on new hotel hygiene protocol
HRS partners with SGS on new hotel hygiene protocol

Global corporate lodging platform HRS has joined hands with SGS, an inspection, verification, testing and certification company, to introduce a new cleanliness-focused programme for the hotel industry.

The Clean & Safe Protocol is based on a comprehensive catalogue of measures that includes recommendations from the World Health Organization, the World Travel and Tourism Council and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as guidelines for meetings and groups as defined by the Research Institute for Exhibition and Live-Communication.

Measures include improved hygiene services in public areas, guest and meeting rooms; extended infection prevention measures; guaranteed minimum distances; implementation of revised training programmes for employees and suppliers; regular control and monitoring; and other measures that illustrate consistent, recurring practices that enhance safety.

HRS says the Clean & Safe Protocol seek to provide corporations and hoteliers with a well-defined standard at a time when property hygiene is the leading factor as corporations plan to send business travellers back on the road.

In a May survey conducted by HRS of its corporate customers, 86% of companies reported that they will only engage with hotels that have implemented revised specific COVID-19 hygiene measures.

"Covid-19 has fundamentally changed the world of business travel. In times of pandemic and beyond, corporate travel managers are rigorously weighing their duty of care responsibilities and traveler safety as their colleagues get back on the road to see clients and sell to prospects," said Tobias Ragge, CEO of HRS.

"Hoteliers around the world are investing significant amounts into new cleanliness procedures. We intend to make their efforts transparent, as this is needed to restore the sentiment of trust for business travellers and corporate buyers.”

Hotels earning the designation as a safe property gain access to a new label for use in HRS procurement and booking channels, their own corporate website, and on-property displays at entrances, lobbies and in-room marketing. HRS will display this label on its proprietary desktop, mobile and agent booking solutions, as well as corporate online booking engines (OBEs) such as Concur and Cytric.

As a first step, hotels can engage with HRS to fill out an online self-assessment form. Hotel groups can bundle forms for their affiliated properties. If the hotel fulfills the necessary requirements, it receives a "Clean & Safe Self Inspected" label on all HRS procurement and booking channels. These hotels can also use these channels to show the multiple steps they are taking to enhance cleanliness and on-property distancing.

Secondly, HRS and SGS offer hotels the opportunity to have new measures inspected and confirmed via remote digital inspection or onsite by an SGS inspector. Upon passing the inspection, the hotel receives the "Clean & Safe Expert Inspected" label, which is most relevant for corporate procurement leaders and travellers. This can be displayed on the hotel property and website.

Hotels that have implemented their own measures and had them validated by an external audit partner will also receive the "Clean & Safe Expert Inspected" label directly with appropriate proof.

Hotels seeking more information on the Clean & Safe Protocol can email HRS at [email protected].

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