IHG® Hotels & Resorts is meeting health security concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic with new cleaning protocols, service standards and partners, and the launch of its global IHG Clean Promise.
“The future of travel may look different, but a safe, secure stay is fundamental to deliver True Hospitality—and that will never change,” said Keith Barr, CEO, IHG. “By combining IHG’s world-class knowledge and processes, with cutting-edge expertise from Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey, we can reassure guests and colleagues that we’re focused on protecting their health and wellbeing. this includes looking at where technology can make a difference, deploying enhanced, highly visible and more frequent cleaning measures, and different approaches to food and beverage, all underpinned by our new IHG Clean Promise.”
IHG’s new protocols build on its IHG Way of Clean program, which was developed with Ecolab and Diversey and launched in 2015. Enhancements include COVID-19 protocols and best practices, many already in place, to reflect the advice of the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and local public health authorities in markets around the world.
The IHG Way of Clean already includes deep cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants. Evolved procedures guests can expect to see going forward, include:
- Reception: Reduced contact at check-in, touchless transactions, front desk screens, sanitizer stations, sanitized key cards, paperless checkout.
- Guest Room: Visible verification of sanitized items (e.g. glassware, remote control), reduction of in-room furnishings/high-touch items, new laundry protocols, use of new technology.
- Public Spaces and Facilities: Additional deep-cleaning of high-touch surfaces, social distancing, “last cleaned” charts, best practices for pools, fitness centers and lounges.
- Food & Beverage: New standards and service approach to buffets, banquets, room service and catering.
Supporting guest and employee wellbeing
IHG is working closely with a team of medical experts at Cleveland Clinic to develop guidelines and resources for the safety of employees returning to work and guests. This may include:
- Cleanliness information in hotels and on IHG’s booking channels
- Social distancing operating procedures and signage
- Guidance on the use of protective equipment as necessary by hotel employees
- Updated training and certification
- Availability of individual guest amenity cleaning kits
- Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes available in guestrooms and at high-touch points throughout hotels
IHG Clean Promise and Global Cleanliness Brand
IHG’s Clean Promise will roll out on June 1, 2020. It reassures guests that their room will meet IHG’s high standards of cleanliness.
The work of defining solutions, best practice and implementation processes is being led by IHG’s new Global Cleanliness Board, a group of IHG experts in operations, health, safety and guest experience, working with external specialists, including James Merlino, chief clinical transformation officer at Cleveland Clinic.
In addition, each property will appoint a Clean Champion, who will focus on guests and colleagues as they navigate the new environment and help on-property teams deliver the new elevated cleanliness standards.