Informational

Electrostatic Technology is being implemented in the hotel’s cleaning protocols.

How Electrostatic Technology Works.

Major hotel chains, as well as independents, are working to assure guests that they are safeguarding their health through increased cleanliness, hygiene and social distancing. Many are implementing new technologies in their updated cleaning protocols. Marriott International as an example is now using electrostatic technology to elevate its cleanliness standards and hospitality norms and behaviors to meet the new health and safety challenges presented by the current pandemic environment.

 Electrostatic spraying technology uses the highest classification of disinfectants recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) to treat known pathogens. The sprayers rapidly clean and disinfect entire areas and can be used in a hotel setting to clean and disinfect guest rooms, lobbies, gyms and other public areas.

How does electrostatic spray technology work?

Electrostatic spray technology is a new way to apply cleaners, sanitizers, and disinfectants to help facilities treat surfaces, often in less time and with better coverage than traditional cleaning methods. The technology is well-established, with a history of more than 60 years in other areas, including agriculture, automotive, and tanning industries, but it has only recently been applied to surface disinfection.

Electrostatic sprayers work by charging liquids (i.e., cleaners, sanitizers, and disinfectants) as they pass through a sprayer nozzle. This generates charged droplets that repel one another and actively seek out environmental surfaces, which they stick to and even wrap around to coat all sides. The result is a uniform coating of sanitizer or disinfectant on sprayed objects, including hard-to-reach areas that manual cleaning can miss. The technology also helps avoid liquid pooling often associated with trigger sprayers.

Where can electrostatic spray technology be used?

A. Use electrostatic sprayers anywhere you currently sanitize or disinfect. Effective electrostatic sprayers can cover a large area in minutes, so school classrooms, public restrooms, cafeterias, kitchens, equipment rooms, offices, waiting rooms, and even vehicles can all be treated efficiently. Because surfaces are coated evenly, wiping is not required regularly, only periodically to keep surfaces polished.

Electrostatic spray technology can be tailored to meet facilities’ needs. Some facilities choose to use electrostatic sprayers as a substitute for manual cleaning and disinfecting methods like wipes and trigger sprays, while others use the technology as an additional step to augment standard cleaning and ensure comprehensive surface coverage.

Article Derived from cmmonline.com, written by Katherine Velez. Additional information found on hoteltechnologynews.com

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Hotels ramp up cleaning measures

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, hotel groups around the world are announcing new cleaning programs to reassure guests.

The most common measures include increasing the frequency of cleaning public areas, increasing the number of hand sanitizers available, using specialized products for wipedowns and training teams in protective protocols.

This is what some of the big hotel groups told us they are doing to combat the spread of the virus:

Accor

The French hotel group told us:

“We are closely monitoring the COVID-19  outbreak and have instructed our hotels to implement measures to minimize risk of transmission.

“Hotels and head offices are following official guidelines and closely monitoring the advice of medical and government authorities to limit the spread of this virus.

“These include isolating anyone showing any symptoms and notifying relevant medical authorities of anyone showing any signs of the disease.

“Accor has also advised all its hotels to adopt flexible conditions in terms of cancellation or modifications for travelers to Greater China and to any Accor destinations globally.

We recommend that all travelers review guidance from the World Health Organization and follow any travel advice issued by their home countries.”

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels has launched a Commitment to Clean initiative. It builds on Choice Hotels’ long-standing cleanliness protocols, and enhances the existing program with guidance developed in response to the pandemic, including recommendations related to deep cleaning, disinfecting, hygiene, and social distancing best practices and protocols.

Choice Hotels’ complete approach to infection prevention includes a close association with Ecolab, who is helping ensure the company has the right infection prevention programs and training in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes a new online resource hub available to franchisees, featuring operational best practices, training and resources from Ecolab’s industry-leading experts. Additionally, every Choice-branded hotel will designate a “Commitment to Clean Captain,” each of whom will complete applicable best-in-class cleanliness training and will be responsible for incorporating the new protocols into their hotel’s operations.

Over the next few weeks, guests may experience a growing variety of new and improved protocols, products and communications, some of which are already in place, to promote health and safety, including:

Protocols

  • Heightened cleaning protocols for high-traffic areas such as the front desk, fitness centers and pools, as well as other high-touch surfaces throughout the hotel, using hospital-grade disinfectant approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to combat the spread of COVID-19.
  • Furniture arrangements designed to encourage appropriate social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • Housekeeping “on-demand” option that allows guests to request delivery of additional toiletries, towels, linens or coffee without having a housekeeper enter the room.
  • Changes in breakfast offerings, with many hotels that provide breakfast replacing their buffet with pre-packaged breakfast items.

Products

  • Design enhancements to help facilitate contactless check-in and check-out, such as plexiglass partitions at front desks for added protection and key drops for guests’ use upon departure.
  • “Clean seals” on certain high-touch items in guest rooms to provide reassurance of sterilized condition.
  • Personal protective equipment for hotel staff, including masks and gloves, to safeguard guests and employees.
  • Hand sanitizing stations located in high-traffic areas throughout the hotel, such as the front desk, breakfast area, elevator lobbies and fitness center.

Communications

  • On-property signage and decals reiterating CDC social distancing guidelines, personal sanitation guidelines and the importance of surface cleaning.
  • Communications from front desk staff to guests about precautions taken for their safety and comfort, and reminders about additional safeguards available at guests’ choosing.

The company will also be exploring the implementation of various technologies in the months ahead, including mobile check-in and keyless entry to further facilitate the contactless guest experience, as well as ultraviolet light instruments, air purifiers and ozone generators to further enhance sanitation.

Hilton

Hilton’s hotel teams “are receiving ongoing briefings and enhanced operating protocols”.

It has increased the frequency of cleaning its public areas (including lobbies, elevators, door handles, public bathrooms, etc.) and have continued the use of hospital-grade disinfectant.

It continues to “adjust food and beverage service in accordance with current food safety recommendations” and has increased the deployment of antibacterial hand sanitizers.

Hyatt

The group says:

Comprehensive COVID-19 guidance is in place at Hyatt hotels globally, detailing how to protect against transmission of the virus (including implementing hand sanitizer stations and frequent cleaning of high-touch areas), and procedures in case there is a suspected or confirmed case among our guests or colleagues

Cross-functional, global response teams, including infectious diseases and occupational health experts, provide guidance to our hotels and help address specific needs and situations when needed.

Intercontinental Hotels Group

IHG has announced it is enhancing its existing  IHG Way of Clean program which was first launched in 2015. Developed with Ecolab and Diversey, experts in hygiene and cleaning technologies and services, the program has now been expanded with additional COVID-19 protocols and best practices to reflect the advice of the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and local public health authorities in markets around the world.

IHG Way of Clean already includes deep cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants and going forward guests can expect to see evolved procedures in every area of the hotel, which may 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 the wellbeing of guests and colleagues

Enabling the personal wellbeing of guests and colleagues is key. IHG is working closely with a team of medical experts at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic to develop guidance and resources for hotel teams on returning to work and keeping guests safe in this new environment, which 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 colleagues

– Updated colleague training and certification

– Availability of individual guest amenity cleaning kits

– Hand sanitiser and disinfecting wipes available in guest rooms and at high-touch points throughout hotels

IHG Clean Promise and Global Cleanliness Board

With updated measures in place, IHG is launching a Clean Promise. Rolling out globally from 1 June 2020, guests can be reassured that their room will meet IHG’s high standards of cleanliness. If not, the hotel will make it right.

Leading this work is IHG’s new Global Cleanliness Board, a group of IHG experts in operations, health, safety and guest experience, working with our new external specialists, including James Merlino, Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at Cleveland Clinic, to define solutions, best practice and implement processes.

While on-property, hotel teams will also appoint Clean Champions to continue building the culture of clean instilled in IHG hotels around the world. These champions will focus on guests and colleagues as they navigate the new environment and help on-property teams to consistently deliver these elevated cleanliness standards.

Marriott

Marriott has made big promises to its guests in recent days about hygiene.

For Marriott, technology is one answer to improving cleanliness in its hotels, including electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize surfaces throughout the hotel. The sprayers allow house keeping staff to rapidly clean and disinfect areas and can be used in a hotel setting to clean and disinfect guest rooms, lobbies, gyms and other public areas.

Marriott says that “Electrostatic spraying technology uses the highest classification of disinfectants recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) to treat known pathogens”. In addition, the company is testing ultraviolet light technology for sanitizing keys for guests and devices shared by associates.

In addition, all areas that are considered ‘high-touch’ will be “thoroughly treated with hospital-grade disinfectants” and disinfecting wipes will also be provided in each room for guests’ personal use.

Signage in hotel lobbies will remind guests to maintain social distancing protocols and furniture will be removed or rearranged to allow more space. Marriott is also evaluating adding partitions at front desks and is working with its supply chain partners to make masks and gloves available to associates.

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is expanding its “Count on Us” initiative across Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa (EMEA). This further enhances a broad range of health and safety protocols across properties in the region. This includes the consistent use of top-of-the-range disinfectants at all hotels, the introduction of robust new training and guidelines, and ongoing access to critical health essentials through trusted suppliers.

Wyndham is leveraging its long-standing relationship with hygiene expert Ecolab to ensure the consistent use of industry-leading disinfectants across all EMEA hotels, including rooms and public spaces.

Elevating best practices while promoting consistency in execution, Wyndham has also developed a series of protocols and guidelines that will help hotel partners in EMEA meet new health and safety challenges presented by COVID-19. These address enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace procedures and will be complemented by a line-up of mandatory virtual training courses for hotel teams, as well as additional resources, such as housekeeping checklists. Every Wyndham hotel in EMEA will also be encouraged to appoint a ‘hygiene hero’ to champion the new protocols at each property.

Lastly, Wyndham will provide hotels with access to critical and high-demand health essentials, leveraging its network of trusted suppliers so hotels may source personal protection equipment (PPE), including face masks, gloves, alcohol-based hand sanitizers,  as well as hygiene installations and other products compliant with various countries’ regulations around COVID-19. Wyndham will also provide branded collateral clearly communicating key safety measures to guests. These will include branded public-area signage, front desk collateral, guest room materials and more.

Article Derived from BusinessTraveller.com. 

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Which is safer: Airbnb or hotels? Here’s what doctors say

As restrictions lift around the country, many travelers are eager to get back on the road. But while the pandemic continues, and until there is a vaccine, safety will remain a top priority for travelers. When it comes to lodging, travelers have many choices, and just about all of them are actively courting their business with ambitious new policies and protocols.

Many large hotel change have announced sweeping changes to their cleaning policies, often in combination with high-profile experts. But travelers who long valued hotels for on-demand housekeeping, room service, and other staff-backed services may now view those same person-to-person interactions as liabilities.

On the flip side, Airbnbs appealed to the type of traveler who valued a more private, residential-like, and DIY experience. But will travelers continue to trust their health in the homes of unknown strangers?

To help answer these questions and determine the safest lodging for travelers while the novel coronavirus threat continues, we spoke with a pair of doctors — whose conclusions represented a consensus.

What are the risks involved with hotels, Airbnbs, or other lodgings?

When you’re making arrangements for overnight lodging — as with any other decision you make when leaving your house in this pandemic — consider that the most significant risk you can encounter is direct contact with other people.

And when you’re traveling, you’re likely to encounter not only other humans but those who come from backgrounds and locations unfamiliar to you.

“The first thing that potentially opens up risk is running into other people that you have no idea what their infectious status is. We know now that there’s a lot of people who get the coronavirus who have no symptoms at all who could potentially transmit it,” explains Dr. Thomas Russo, chief of the division of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo. “Therefore you have to assume that anyone you encounter that you don’t know could be potentially infectious.”

As for pools, beach chairs, and other amenities found at Airbnbs and hotels, “other bodies are the main concern,” Dr. Russo says, not the water in the pool. So your safest leisure-time bet would be a chaise completely away from the crowd, a bike for a solo ride, or a swim in the chlorinated pool of a private Airbnb with no other guests present.

For dining, the safest option in a hotel would be no-contact room service or other delivery. In an Airbnb, you can prepare your own food, which is both safer and cost-saving, although remember with this style of lodging you can expect an additional cleaning fee. Increased fees post-pandemic have been in the range of $250, and that’s just for cleaning, in addition to service fees and the like.

Again, no matter what lodging you pick, the main thing you’ll want to consider is the likelihood you’ll encounter other people and the number and length of such encounters. Plus, factor in the location, and if possible, avoid regions with high rates of infection.

“When booking any type of lodging, consider how many people you’ll be surrounded by, when was the last time someone stayed in that accommodation, and how is the state or city doing in regards to flattening the curve,” said Dr. Neil Brown, K Health‘s chief diagnosis officer. 

How can I mitigate my risks?

Whether you choose an Airbnb or a hotel, be aware of high-touch areas that might facilitate virus transmission. which are therefore good places to target for an extra cleaning pass you do yourself on check-in.

In both Airbnbs and hotels, these might include light switches, phones, TV remotes, doorknobs, sinks, bathroom faucets, and toilet handles. Additionally, look out for flat surfaces like bedside tables. “If someone was sick in the room and coughing, [those are among] flat surfaces it could settle onto,” Dr. Russo notes.

If you’re going to use kitchen items in Airbnbs, Dr. Russo suggests running them through the dishwasher just in case, an action that would neutralize the virus.

The virus is likely to settle out of the air quickly — about one to three hours under experimental conditions, and possibly much less in the real world — Dr. Russo notes. So that means the air quality is not likely to be a major concern in either a hotel room or an Airbnb if you are the only one in it. Nevertheless, you can mitigate your risk in both by insisting upon a margin of time passing since the last guest was in the space. 

As part of its Enhanced Cleaning Initiative launched in May, Airbnb has implemented at least two options through which hosts can guarantee spaces remain empty for a period of time between guests. 

In the most rigorous option, hosts undergo and enroll in an education and certification program known as the Cleaning Protocol. In addition to the cleaning mandates, listings in this program are required to maintain a 24-waiting period after a guest checks out before entering to clean, ensuring no property is flipped in the same day.

Hosts that do not enroll in the new protocol, because they can’t adapt to its stringent requirements, may instead opt into a new feature called Booking Buffer, which enforces a longer vacancy period between stays, currently set at 72 hours.

Hosts are technically required to do neither of those things, but if they don’t, their listings will not reflect special labels indicated they have opted in. And the lack of such labels may turn guests off.  These certification tags for individual listings are not yet live, as the program is new and hosts are becoming certified on a rolling basis. A spokesperson for the brand suggested updates may be available in early June and are “days not weeks” away from going live. For now, travelers can contact Airbnb hosts directly to inquire about their current cleaning practices and should investigate reviews from previous stays.

Without explicitly stated buffers, hotels may indeed turn guest rooms around faster than Airbnbs that earn these tags. But if you were to check into a room in which an infected person stayed right before you arrived, and the housekeeping crew did clean and sanitize everything according to guidelines, you would “probably” escape risk, Dr. Russo said, “but that’s not an ideal scenario.”

You may further mitigate risk by specifically requesting a room that’s been vacant for a day or more. As vacancy rates remain low for the foreseeable future, hotels are not likely to struggle to accommodate your explicit request.

Overall, most large hotel chains have announced sweeping new cleaning and distancing policies and procedures. But even with these in mind, Dr. Brown points to the main concern: the probability of direct contact with people.

“I think it’s great that hotels are taking initiative and hiring these experts to help them implement better cleaning protocols,” he said. “But my biggest concern is the amount of traffic going through these hotels.”

Plus, there is the matter that stated policies ideally will be executed in good faith by every member of the hotel staff, and every Airbnb host or cleaner, in every instance. But that cannot be guaranteed by each individual arriving guest.

“At the end of the day, the only people we can trust to protect us are ourselves,” Dr. Brown said. “So if there is no need to travel at the moment, I would recommend everyone to continue staying home.”

So, which is safer overall: hotels vs. Airbnbs?

The doctors we spoke with agreed that one lodging option is safer than the other as a general rule because the main risk in coronavirus transmission is directly from person to person. And you are more likely to have person-to-person encounters in hotels compared with private Airbnbs. So the safer option is Airbnbs.

“While there is no question hotels are working diligently to keep their hotels clean and sanitized, Airbnb has a huge advantage given that the renter is generally the only one occupying the property,” said Dr. Brown. “With Airbnb’s new Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, the company provides a better option than public hotel spaces. Airbnb homes are more private, so there is a lesser chance of being exposed to the coronavirus.”

Dr. Brown does suggest confirming your listing meets Airbnb’s new cleaning protocol since it isn’t a requirement for all hosts. “I would double-check to see if the host is participating in the program,” he said.

Dr. Russo “absolutely agree[s]” that staying in a private Airbnb, especially one that allows no-contact check-in, such as through a lockbox, is the safer option now, given the probability of fewer person-to-person encounters.

Whatever lodging option you choose — if you choose to travel — both doctors recommend undertaking a serious consideration of the risks versus rewards.

Dr. Russo said he would stay in an Airbnb, and as for staying in a hotel, said, “I think so.” But if he’d have the potential to encounter anybody in person at any point in his travels, he’d definitely wear a mask and would weigh the importance of the trip to his quality of life before deciding to undertake it.

“If it’s a trip that is important and necessary, I feel relatively safe using the proper protective measures like wearing a mask, distancing, disinfecting, and hand hygiene,” he said, noting that individuals will have to weigh their own individual risk tolerance, risk factors, and risk-reward potential.

Dr. Brown voiced a somewhat more conservative view. “Personally, I would do my best to avoid traveling altogether, but if it is necessary, I would feel more comfortable staying at an Airbnb after doing my own disinfecting upon arrival.”

Article Derived from https://www.businessinsider.com/which-is-safer-airbnb-hotels-coronavirus, written by Alesandra Dubin. 

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AHLA’s Stay Safe Initiative sets Industry-Wide Cleaning Standards in Response to COVID-19.

 The Safe Stay initiative, led by AHLA in partnership with AAHOA and other members of the advisory council, is an industry-wide enhanced standard of health and safety protocols designed to prepare America’s hotels to safely welcome back guests and employees. These guidelines will provide a framework for consistency and confidence for all guests and employees as hotels, both brands and independents, prepare to welcome their return as the economy begins to reopen.

The Safe Stay guidelines are intended to evolve and will be revised as needed, based on the recommendations of public health authorities in compliance with any federal, state, and local laws.

For more information about the Safe Stay Program,
visit AHLA.com/SafeStay

Article was derived from hotelier weekly, the official newsletter of AAHOA. 

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How Hotel Asset Managers Can Support Hotel Re-Opening Post-COVID-19

As hotel asset managers, they are able to work alongside hotel owners and operators to guide a hotels’ recovery from COVID-19. They can use our expertise to guide and create a re-opening action plan, bring back the hotel’s property value, and enhance communication between the owner and the management team. This article will outline the key areas where hotel asset management can come into play to improve and adjust your operations post COVID-19. Hoteliers, owners, you are not alone.

1. Meet the New Normal
As lockdowns are lifted and shelter-in-place eases up, businesses may be required to adhere to a new set of standards. Hotel asset managers can provide advisory services to navigate the new regulations and guidelines tailored to your specific property’s location and facilitate the implementation throughout the operation. With our experience across many countries, we can also go above the newly instated local regulations and offer additional measures to put your customers at ease and bring back occupancies in a safe environment.

2. Develop a Re-opening Forecast and Guide in Investment Decisions to Avoid Liquidity Risk
The closure of properties caused a working capital issue for owners and operators. Many governments activated different mechanisms to relieve the financial pressure across three main areas: protecting the livelihood of workers, fiscal support, and injecting liquidity. However, these efforts may not have been enough to sustain every business, and access to this aid was often limited. Hotels will likely have two main concerns post-COVID-19 when faced with re-opening: cash flow shortages and profitability issues.

Undoubtedly, both owners and operators are suffering during the closure, worried about the current inactivity and long-term impact it will leave. Determining the re-opening forecast scenarios, re-opening date, and breakeven point can open up many conflicts between both sides. On the one hand, the onus is on the owner to provide sufficient working capital during the disinfection, retraining, and ramp-up period. On the other hand, the operator will mostly be concerned with implementing new brand standards and hygiene regulations and making sure the property is as attractive as possible compared to its nearest competitors.

Hotel asset managers act as impartial arbiters when these challenges arise. For instance, in terms of payroll, we work with the operators’ team to ensure adequate re-opening staffing levels and ensure progressive ramp-up, organize onboarding of furloughed and new employees, ensure new operating standard training is delivered, and prioritize certain departments (e.g., housekeeping, maintenance). We make sure that the forecast is as streamlined as possible with the volume of business.

We will evaluate the necessary investment required for the re-opening. Hotel asset managers do this by providing additional oversight with regards to liquidity management. For example, during the re-opening stage, one industry best practice restricts the operator’s access to the full agreed-upon operating cash injection at any one time. Instead, distributing a predetermined amount to the operator monthly helps to ensure the operator stays within the agreed amount and allows better cash flow monitoring.

The role of the hotel asset manager includes making sure the funds are being spent where it makes the most impact by reviewing the operator’s proposal and negotiating what is fair and necessary for the hotel owner. Furthermore, hotel asset managers assist in funding decisions by analyzing the risks, negotiating with lenders, maintaining monetary and reputational capital, and eventually optimizing the capital structure. Additionally, this re-opening is also the perfect time to re-adjust the business model, identify new opportunities, and estimate the potential returns.

3. Cleaning Standard Operation Procedures: A Key Factor for Re-opening Success
Hotel asset managers will roll up their sleeves to guarantee top safety and cleanliness measures are fully implemented throughout the property. These measures will be necessary to restore guests’ and stakeholders’ confidence in the hotel. We will review current standards to determine critical actions that need to be reinforced to ensure proper sanitation and prevention efforts are taking place. This will be the crucial focus point for the post-COVID-19 era.

Over time, the lodging industry may be required to implement new standards and additional levels of sanitation, hygiene, and social distancing measures. Our internal approaches enable us to be familiar and remain up to date with the current regulations. We can also go above the newly defined regulations and proactively initiate additional housekeeping measures to put your customers at ease in order to succeed upon your re-opening.

4. Revenue Management and Sales and Marketing
Another key role of hotel asset managers is their contribution in establishing and controlling room rates, setting up an efficient channel mix, and bridging the gap between the Revenue and Sales and Marketing departments.

With our industry currently at a standstill, there is no previous precedent, no historical data to refer to. Revenue Management software systems do not have reliable data to process: they will simply not work. Furthermore, most of the revenue managers positions probably did not exist during the last major business downturn, the 2008 Financial Crisis. In order to advise hotels on this matter, hotel asset managers work with robust revenue management experts and monitor the trends of several metrics. These metrics include analyzing the general market prices beyond the comp set, Google analytics, macroeconomic indicators and more to assist in the room’s price mix strategies. The operator will most likely place an emphasis on the occupancy rate and adjusting the prices to attract the available demand. However, owners are generally more focused on monitoring the profit and cash flow performance, and less concerned with the occupancy rates.

To help both parties achieve their goal, maximize total revenues, and minimize costs; overhead costs, F&B covers, meetings and conferences, retail and so forth must be considered. Therefore, in addition to RevPAR, hotel asset managers also include other metrics such as GOPPAR and flow-through as key performance indicators. These additional metrics help monitor the hotel operations and financial performance.

5. Food & Beverage service
Many independent restaurants and bars will have to close due to the difficulty of supporting the operational costs with limited capacity and low occupancies. As hotel F&B outlets already have the building, space, facilities and operations in place, with the right adjustments and guidance from hotel asset managers they will be able to survive the re-opening, resume cash flow, and increase their market share.

Over the last few years, however, the social space trend has driven many restaurant concepts. Lobbies have been converted into popular bars, and hotels have put an emphasis on larger social areas and smaller guest rooms. These trendy concepts will come to an abrupt halt upon re-opening, and new concepts involving social distancing will have to be implemented. Hotel asset managers can assist with smoothing the re-launch phase, planning, and adjusting the F&B operations neatly and according to new standards and regulations.

Hotel asset managers offer a good understanding of the F&B opportunities and trends. They can assist in developing new menus designed to minimize stocks and reduce waste while demand slowly recovers. They can also adjust the standardized systems in place, such as the buffet, to the new normal. This will involve improving the food service, guarantee quality, and offer advice with additional services such as food delivery. Hotel asset managers share the profitability focused perspective of owners, and also share the F&B expertise with operators regarding concepts, trends, and designs. Their perspective will be very useful in transitioning F&B outlets into the post-COVID-19 era.

6. Customer Relationship and Reputation Management
The way the re-opening is communicated and executed is crucial to earning your customers’ trust and bringing back business. Hotel asset managers can provide efficient solutions for creating memorable experiences and adding personal touches to appeal to current and new guests. We are hospitality professionals that know how to put customers first. Maintaining hotel reputation is imperative; therefore, hotel asset managers design practical templates to monitor customer satisfaction and track key performance indicators. These templates can assist the operator to improve their customer journey, and eventually carry the impact down to the bottom line.

Conclusion

Hotel asset managers play an important, non-intrusive role by providing additional guidance, hospitality expertise, and financial advisory for the re-opening, ramp-up, and stabilized operations. We work closely with the operations team by monitoring their performance and implementing solutions in order to adjust and prepare for almost any situation.

Hotel asset managers will also be involved in the COVID-19 aftermath. We believe that to save the bottom line, certain key actions need to be taken. These include allocating funds when and where they are really needed, and reviewing the needs of the operational departments in order to resume efficiency and increase quality. Safeguarding opportunities also need to be created for the revenue management and sales & marketing strategies.

The hospitality industry was hit hard and there is still a long road ahead towards recovery. The owner, local operations team, and corporate management need to work together and increase communication to ensure everyone is on the same page. As hotel asset managers, we will lead the communication and guide the recovery period to restore the hotel and introduce it to the new normal.

Article was derived from hospitalitynet.org

Co-written by Eliana Levine, Larina Maira Laube, Vani van Nielen, Zhaoyu Zhu and Paloma Guerra Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne Students and Alumna.

By Alex Sogno, CEO – Senior Hotel Asset Manager at Global Asset Solutions.

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States begin to lift COVID-19 restrictions.

Georgia, Tennessee and Texas have decided to slowly reopen their economies.

On Monday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp introduced plans “to incrementally and safely reopen sectors” of the economy based on optimistic numbers from the Department of Public Health.  Kemp advises:

Reports of emergency room visits for flu-like illnesses are declining, documented COVID-19 cases have flattened and appear to be declining, and we have seen declining emergency room visits in general,

Georgia’s state’s executive order will allow gyms, fitness centers, barbershops, hair and nail salons, body art studios, bowling alleys and massage parlors to reopen on April 24. Church services will be allowed to resume, but with strict adherence to social distancing.

Theaters, private social clubs and restaurant dine-in-services will reopen on April 27 and are also subject to social distancing. Bars, nightclubs and amusement parks are to remain closed.

On Monday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee declared that the state’s stay-at-home order would expire on April 30 “with the vast majority of businesses in 89 counties allowed to re-open on May 1,” according to a statement from his office.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a series of executive orders to begin the process of reopening Texas’ economy. Abbott announced the creation of a team of medical advisers and business leaders who will create strategies of ways to safely reopen businesses. The first step took place this past Monday when the administration reopened all state parks. Visitors are required to wear face masks and practice social distancing. Groups are limited to five people or less.

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Governors are Starting to Outline Plans for Re-open.

Governors across the country are starting to outline plans for how they are going to go about reopening their local economies. A positive sign as we look to remerge from the shuttered economy. We’ll ignore the political soundbites that are arising between executive powers and the states’ leaders as the country was shut down state by state and we predict the same plan of action will happen in loosening stay-at-home mandates.

 

Furthermore, Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Jake Tapper this will be a “rolling reentry” and “will be dependent on where a business is in the country, the nature of the outbreak they have already experienced and the threat of an outbreak. New York will be very different than Arkansas… This will not be one-size-fits-all.”

This is very true as the same approach for New York that has lost 10,056 people to coronavirus already, is going to have a very different approach compared to Wyoming that only has a single death attributed so far according to the NY Times.

Governors from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut have announced a pact on the east coast while governors from Washington, Oregon, and California announced similar plans.

What Are Their Plans

So far, this news is more of an announcement and specific measures have yet to be outlined. No dates have been set or indications of which businesses and activities may be allowed to reopen first. Despite the lack of specifics, it is encouraging to see governors working together as many pointed out shortfalls of businesses being shut down in one state that could encourage travel to nearby states which goes against the fabric of stay-at-home orders. The closure of liquor stores in Pennsylvania being a clear example that has led many to cross-state travel.

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington state shared on his Twitter account that any reopening will require ‘a robust system for testing, tracking, and isolating.’

New York Governor Cuomo also says that tracking and testing are key, especially the antibody test to see who has already had COVID-19 and may be immune moving forward. In his daily press briefing today, the New York Governor reiterated that opening too fast could lead to unintended consequences and pointed out other countries who have tried to reopen and saw the number of cases spike again. This comprehensive plan among the seven states working together is to ensure states are not contradicting each other and countering efforts of their neighboring states.

Governor Newsom has outlined a six-point indicator roadmap for what they will be tracking and requiring in order to reopen. There was not a specific timeline mentioned but it does give insight into how businesses will be affected. The fifth point states ‘The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing’ could directly affect on-premise dining even with stay-at-home measures relaxed. New York City reduced venue seating to 50% of their capacity and it will be interesting to see how California enforces bars and restaurants to support physical distancing.

State leaders are toeing the line between lives and livelihoods with the former appropriately weighing much heavier on the scale. The numbers of cases, daily deaths, and ICU resources continue to decline in certain areas, but any reopening of any state will require a smart balance of caution. These states working together should help ensure spikes are mitigated as best as possible.

This article was derived from Bar&Restaurant and written by Jeremiah Batucan on 4/12/2020.

TransworldGovernors are Starting to Outline Plans for Re-open.
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Types of Small Business Loans Available for COVID Relief

Since the signing of the CARES Act, there’s been a constant flow of updates on the stimulus package and loan programs offered to small businesses. We understand it can be frustrating to process all the information coming in on top of everything else. Thus, find all the crucial information consolidated in the following quick breakdown.

To start off, what are the loans available to small businesses?

There are two types of loans available:

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans aim to provide the liquidity that small businesses need to support employees throughout the coronavirus crisis and not have to resort to lay-offs.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) $10 Billion was approved for the SBA EIDL which only apply once all “reasonably available” funds have been exhausted and only if “you are unable to obtain credit elsewhere. The CARES Act fixed an error in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts, providing businesses, especially in the hospitality industry, to immediately write off costs associated with improving facilities instead of having to depreciate those improvements over the 39-year life of the building. Moreover, the change is applied retroactively to qualified improvements beginning in 2018.

Here’s a quick breakdown of each loan program:

  Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
Loan Period February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020 January 31, 2020 to December 31, 2020
Maximum Loan Amount $10 million $2 million
Eligible Borrowers -Any small business, private or non-profit, veterans service group, or food and hospitality businesses with less than 500 employees or meets SBA size standards 
-Businesses in operation as of Feburary 15, 2020 
-Self-employed individuals 
-Independent contractors 
-Sole proprietorships
-Any small business, private or non-profit with less than 500 employees or meets SBA size standards 
-Self-employed individuals 
-Independent contractors 
-Sole proprietorships
Debt Forgiveness Loan forgiveness may be applied to 8 weeks’ worth of funds allocated for payroll cost, mortgage interest, rent, and utility expenses incurred after receiving funding. Loan forgiveness may only be applied to the $10,000 emergency cash grant.

The cash grants will also be credited towards the maximum forgivable amount under any PPP loan.

Information was derived from the following article posted and written by 48hourprint.

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Customize Your Business’ Messaging in Real-Time

Digital Signage Samsung Pro TV BET-H series – Hotel Lobby

Delivering great customer experiences is critical to business operators, and it starts from the moment people walk into the hotel lobby.

Samsung’s all-in-one Pro-TV Digital Signage technology solution can help hotel businesses reach their customers with high-impact visuals — the second they enter an establishment — and continue to message and influence throughout their time on site.

All-in-One Simplicity

The Pro TV bundle includes an affordable 4K display that has a smart, embedded media player for visual messaging; built-in Wi-Fi; and content management, creative and control software. The difference-maker for Pro TV is it puts customization at its users’ fingertips, as the content management software has been streamlined, simplified and made accessible via mobile app.

This means hotel operators can use on-site displays to promote happy hour specials at the on-site bar or local events. Using a dedicated mobile app, managers who rarely slow down during open hours can make these changes in seconds.

Samsung Pro TV Makes Business Signage Easy

Samsung developed Pro TV to address a need in the digital signage marketplace for a solution that resolves pain points like high costs, complexity and reliability.

Pro TV is a bundle built around what the display industry calls a “prosumer” TV — a hybrid product that applies the most important signage-centric attributes of professional displays to a consumer TV product. It offers premium Crystal UHD clarity and full 4K visuals, but at an attractive price point.

The new Pro TV series comes in a variety of display sizes: from 43-in. to 75-in. It’s smart, with a built-in media player that can handle images, motion graphics and full HD video. The management and media playback software is tuned and optimized for the device, and Wi-Fi is also built in.

That all-in-one bundle means Pro TV displays install easily and quickly. No external devices (like a PC) need to be hidden behind the screen, and the only cable is the one for power.

Information was derived from the following article posted by Samsung Insights and written by Dave Haynes.

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How Hotels are Responding to the Pandemic

As more shutdowns states ensue due to the increase of cases on COVID-19 in the United States, some hotels are helping out. For example, the American Hotel and Lodging Association put together a program called “Hotels for Hope” identifying 6500 hotels properties near healthcare facilities to assist their workers with temporary housing.

That’s just the beginning of how the hotel industry is supporting the community during this time of crisis. Many brands are also offering discounts or in some cases free nights, such as:

  • Oyo Hotels offering free nights to first responders
  • Domio offering free housing to Medical Professional and first responders in Miami, Nashville and Chicago.
  • Red Roof discounting stays for students who cannot return to campus or home.

 With the strong impact of COVID in hospitality, it’s refreshing to see how hotel are making an effort to support those who are in need and are in the front lines of fighting this pandemic. 

We’re also here to help support hoteliers during this crisis. Transworld continues to operate and has secured inventory in Hospitality TV, PTACs and appliances.  This gives us the ability to respond to our customer’s needs.

Information was derived from the following article posted by Hotel Management and written by Chuck Cobrosielski.

TransworldHow Hotels are Responding to the Pandemic
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