Guest and employee health and safety are currently at the forefront of hoteliers’ minds as people across the globe begin traveling again. It’s projected that 57% of leisure travelers will resume travel in 2021. Beyond hand sanitizer and mask wearing, it’s important to analyze safety practices and how new technology adoption post-pandemic can also help in these areas that have continually impacted hotels over the years.
It’s estimated that there are over 40.3 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, and 7% of human trafficking cases reported in the US in 2019 were based in hotels or motels. The good news is that guests are increasingly using mobile, contactless tech during their stays, which is removing the anonymity necessary for these operations to be successful. It also gives hotels increased visibility into guest room access and any unusual trends via mobile keys.
Hotels can additionally install Wi-Fi cameras in the lobbies, exterior areas, hallways, fitness rooms, employee laundry facilities and kitchens, all exits and other community areas to track any atypical behavior. This is also important to mitigate theft, robberies and assaults.
AAHOA reports that 37% of hotel reservations for trafficking purposes are made under a fake name. Upon check-in at a hotel, the use of ID scanning for the hotel PMS system can help detect if an ID is fake or stolen. This does two things, first collecting an ID is a requirement for Visa and Mastercard to verify the ID matches the credit card. Second, it identifies if the ID is legitimate. ID theft and identity deterrent devices can be useful in preventing various crimes.
Don’t forget about digital signage. Posting health and safety information can educate, alert and hopefully even deter issues by being transparent about security systems and practices in place.
Artificial Intelligence can elevate the guest experience, both for contactless tech and as a security device. If guests have an emergency and cannot get to a phone, they can ask an in-room virtual assistant for help. An E911-compliant voice device will automatically call the police and update authorities with the exact room number where the call is coming from, not just the general address of the hotel, and can simultaneously notify the front desk.
Travel is beginning to pick back up, but hotels are still struggling with bringing staff back. A shortage of staff can open up hotels for additional safety concerns. Less eyes and slower response times could be an issue. AI and technology adoption can help.
Though there is a major push to update safety and cleaning standards from a sanitation standpoint, hotels shouldn’t forget that many of these same technologies can also improve security for their guests and staff. If you are interested in learning more, AHLA is putting on a Safety Summit April 14 to discuss what lies ahead for guest and employee safety. Another one of our partners, AAHOA offers great resources and training to help prevent human trafficking and other safety concerns.