Events Industry Council releases guide for hotel safety

Latest guidance from the APEX Covid-19 Business Recovery Task Force provides acceptable practices related to guest rooms, hotel restaurants and more.

New resource offers consolidated advice on physical distancing and crowd density, health screening, and safe F&B practices.
New resource offers consolidated advice on physical distancing and crowd density, health screening, and safe F&B practices.

While most hospitality companies have released their own protocols aimed at ensuring visitor safety, event planners now have a general resource that distills and builds on those practices. The Events Industry Council's APEX Covid-19 Business Recovery Task Force has just published the new Accepted Practices Guide for Hotel Health and Safety.

The new guide provides event organisers with insights on four key areas:

- Transmission barriers, such as physical distancing, crowd density and the installation of physical barriers
- Enhanced sanitisation through cleaning protocols focused on reducing viral transmission
- Health screening for fever and other symptoms
- Food-and-beverage guidelines aimed at reducing viral transmission

The new document also breaks down an extensive list of "additional accepted practices" around specific aspects and amenities of the hotel stay, including guest-room housekeeping, in-room dining, bars/lounges and casinos. For example, a section on room sets includes recommendations regarding seating and use of linens.

"One of the primary missions of the APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force is to provide a centralised source of accepted practices, insights and pathways that leverage the collective body of resources available to inspire confidence that responsible measures have been taken as the industry reopens for business," said Amy Calvert, CEO of Events Industry Council.

The guide includes two offerings that are also available as standalone resources, downloadable on the EIC website:

- Events Industry Council Principles for Recovery, which align with U.N. Sustainable Development goals
- Guide to Opening Dialogue - Key Questions for hotels and event organisers to ask each other to build trust and a dialogue on health, safety and sustainability

"The pandemic has prompted a renewed commitment in the travel industry to the health and wellness of guests, employees and other visitors," said Hotels Work Group Chair Michael Dominguez, CEO, Associated Luxury Hotels International. "The response from the lodging community has been rapid, fluid and most importantly, a collaborative endeavour. This work is based on what we know today. And, we will update as we continue to learn more."

Dominguez co-chairs the APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force with Kristin Horstman, senior director of strategic events at Salesforce. This guide is the second deliverable the task force has released, following July's Meeting and Event Design Accepted Practices Guide. The task force includes representatives from across the global events industry. Future guides are in the works on topics including workforce and wellness, transportation, destinations, venues, advocacy and risk management, and business continuity. 

The documents are meant to complement each another as part of evolving practices, and each includes an extensive list of resources for those planners looking to dig deeper. For example, "Accepted Practices Guide for Hotel Health and Safety" includes links to the individual hotel guidelines and protocols.

The full guide is available to download, for free, at EIC's Industry Resources page.

This is an abridged version of an original article that first appeared in Northstar Meetings Group.