Marriott International is calling for higher hotel cleanliness standards and reevaluating hospitality norms in response to COVID-19.
The hotel chain created the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council, staffed by some of the company’s senior leaders as well as food science and infectious disease experts. The goal of the council is to develop “the next level of global hospitality cleanliness standards, norms and behaviors that are designed to minimize risk and enhance safety for consumers and Marriott associates alike,” according to a press release.
[Related: Marriott Launches Rooms for Responders, Providing Free Rooms to Frontline Coronavirus Healthcare Workers]
The move by Marriott closely follows a similar post-COVID-19 sanitation initiative by Wynn Las Vegas.
Over the next few months, changes rolling out in Marriott properties include:
- New enhanced technologies, including electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize hotel surfaces in guest rooms and public areas. The company is also testing ultraviolet light technology for sanitizing keys for guests and devices shared by employees.
- Placing disinfecting wipes in each room for guests’ personal use.
- Reminding guests to maintain physical distancing protocols through signage.
- Removing or re-arranging furniture to allow more space for physical distancing.
- Installing more hand sanitizing stations at entrances, near the front desk, elevators banks and fitness and meeting spaces.
- Working to make masks and gloves available to employees.
- Modifying operational practices for in-room dining and designing new approaches to buffets.
“We are living in a new age, with COVID-19 front and center for our guests and our associates,” said Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, in a press release. “We are grateful for the trust our guests have shown us through the years."
"We want our guests to understand what we are doing today and planning for in the near future in the areas of cleanliness, hygiene and social distancing so that when they walk through the doors of one of our hotels, they know our commitment to their health and safety is our priority. It’s equally important to us that our associates know the changes we are making to help safeguard their health as they serve our guests.”
The company released a short informational video, narrated by Marriott executive chairman and chairman of the board Bill Marriott, that visualizes some of these new health and cleanliness protocols.
Marriott is the latest hotel group to announce operational changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wynn Las Vegas unveiled plans April 20 for keeping guests safe and properties clean when business returns. CEO Matt Maddox predicted that parts of the Las Vegas Strip could reopen by mid- to late May, assuming Nevada is in line with benchmarks and extensive safety measures are in place.
[On Topic: Wynn Las Vegas Unveils Health Plan, Vegas Strip to Slowly Reopen]
Strategies from both hotel groups could serve as a blueprint for other major hotels and meeting facilities.
Earlier this month, Marriott launched its Rooms for Responders program to provide up to $10 million worth of hotel stays at no cost to frontline healthcare workers in some of the country’s hardest hit cities, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and New Orleans.
Read Next: What Will Hotels and Conferences Look Like Post Covid-19?
This article was updated on May 7, 2020.