IHG Hotels & Resorts has announced a global initiative which uses new, science-based protocols and service measures to expand its longstanding ‘Way of Clean’ program, which was launched in 2015. The enhanced program, dubbed the IHG Clean Promise, partners with the Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey, leading experts in health, hygiene and cleaning technologies.
The Clean Promise enhances the existing procedures – which already included deep cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants – with additional COVID-19 protocols and best practices based on the advice of the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and local public health authorities.
According to the hotel group, guests may likely see the evolving program in several areas of IHG properties, such as:
•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), reduced 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.
The company is also working with medical experts from the Cleveland Clinid to further develop steps to help ensure the personal wellbeing of guests and IHG team members. The company says guidance and resources 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 sanitizer and disinfecting wipes available in guest rooms and at high-touch points throughout hotels.
The IHG program is one of a number of enhanced health and cleanliness initiatives being introduced by individual companies across the hotel industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, the hotel trade group the American Hotel and Lodging Association announced its Stay Safe program which established industry-wide cleaning standards in response to COVID-19.
“The future of travel may look different, but a safe, secure stay is fundamental to deliver true hospitality – and that will never change,” said IHG chief executive officer Keith Barr in a statement. “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.”
Barr said the IHG program is using world-class knowledge and processes, with cutting-edge expertise to “reassure guests and colleagues that we’re focused on protecting their health and wellbeing.”
IHG said the Clean Promise program is set to roll out June 1, led by the company’s Global Cleanliness Board, comprised of internal specialists in operations, health, safety and guest experience, working with external partners.