The past two decades have seen a global increase in catastrophic events (terrorism, natural disasters, etc.), giving rise to growing public demand for an approach that takes security into greater account. This trend has not spared luxury hotels, which have found themselves obliged to adopt ever higher levels of security and resilience. So what exactly are the key elements to consider when it comes to hotel security? What are the advantages to adopting an approach that counters these risks? A few solutions, such as Safehotels ©, are available at hand to help hoteliers and reward them for their efforts to ensure greater security for their guests.
Security and hospitality: What is it all about?
A rise in incidences of terrorism, violence, natural disasters, fires… Luxury hotels, unfortunately, have sometimes been impacted. Indeed, it is difficult to forget the attacks at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Bombay in 2008, or more recently the ravages of Hurricane Irma in St. Barths and the shootings in Las Vegas. Under such circumstances, security has become a key challenge for luxury hotels.
In order to counter these risks, it is up to hoteliers to take action, both by adopting safe practices and proper equipment. The main ingredients for ensuring high-level security in hotels are:
- The introduction of procedures to ensure the security and safety of the hotel
- Training of staff members on awareness
- Installation of appropriate security equipment
- Installation of early-detection equipment for fires
- Training for staff on how to correctly respond to fires
- Training for staff on managing live crises
Taking measures for better security: What are the benefits?
Training hotel staff and installing the right equipment represent a significant investment for a hotel. However, the benefits are numerous, as much for the guests as for the travel agencies, corporate accounts and the MICE market, as well as for hoteliers.
To start off, from the perspective of guests, a hotel ensuring a high level of security offers peace of mind. Clients can relax and feel more at ease, feel reassured and will thus be more likely to become loyal clients and recommend the hotel to others. Investing in greater security is thus a way to nurture the guests’ trust in the hotel as well as fulfilling the seamless service expected in luxury hotels.
Travel agencies and corporates will also favor reliable and secure hotel establishments, and this for several reasons. On the one hand, these establishments demonstrate that they can adapt to changing levels of standards for guests, who exhibit a greater desire for security. On a more basic level, selecting partners who respond to high standards of security ensures a higher degree of protection. The duty of care scope of corporates and travel agencies is such that they sometimes find themselves legally involved in the event of an accident. They thus have every interest in working with hotel establishments taking the necessary measures in terms of preventing risks. A hotel that shows a top-notch level of security will stand out from the crowd. Travel agencies and corporates will be more likely to show preference for hotels that invest in security from a duty of care and due diligence perspective than hotels that do not.
Investing in the security of a hotel can translate into a beneficial revenue marketing position for hoteliers. Attention to security and safety are differentiating factors in the luxury hotel sector, on par with the hotel’s location, services and infrastructure. Security has henceforth become a factor in ROI (return on investment). Indeed, it is likely to increase sales both directly and indirectly, since suppliers and business partners will be more willing to form partnerships with reliable and secure establishments.
Security and recognition for hotel security measures
Following the growing demand of clients for hotel establishments ensuring a high level of security, the market has evolved in similar fashion. As a result, investing in the security of a hotel increases its value, not only in the eyes of its clients, but also in the eyes of investors. All else equal, an establishment respecting security standards will hold greater value than one that does not. Additionally, when it comes to insurance, insurance markets are starting to see the benefits of managing hotel security risks through a Certification program, in some cases leading to reduced annual insurance premiums for hotels.
Therefore, prioritizing a hotel’s security level is as much an investment for marketing and commercial purposes as it is for real estate purposes.
What do hotels say about Safehotels ©?
Hotels such as Raffles Istanbul have communicated the level of importance they reserve to the security of their guests as well their colleagues. The Safehotels ©certification is a confirmation of their safety initiatives from a trusted third party that is recognized by the travel industry and corporate world.
For Christian Hirt as General Manager of Raffles Istanbul : “We place great importance to the training of our colleagues, and especially those who work in our security department. The most important requirement to having a strong security team at the hotel is to provide their necessary training continuously and to provide the equipment of the security personnel.
The SafeHotels ©certificate has a positive impact on our colleagues as an awareness of actions taken. For our hotel guests, it offers peace of mind and the reassurance that hotel safety procedures are met and checked continuously.”
Certifying a hotel: What are the steps to take?
Investing in hotel security is one thing; recognizing it is another. A hotel Certification program enables this to happen and is a means of strong communication to the market. Certification provides tools and resources for hoteliers to provide them a means of communicating effectively on their level of engagement around security.
These certifications recognize hotel establishments, as much in the eyes of clients as for travel agencies and businesses. For businesses, these certificates reflect a way to identify and select partners that have taken efforts to offer the highest level of security.
This is the case of the certification offered by Safehotels ©. Following a rigorous set of standards, the Safehotels ©certification is known as the “global benchmark for hotel security.” It involves 220+ standard elements relating to the hotel property, fire and security equipment, staff training, the use of procedures, emergency planning and crisis management.
In order to receive the Certification, there are steps to be taken. Safehotels © provides hoteliers a set of standards and criteria on which the evaluation is based. After agreeing on a date, Safehotels © allows the hotel a window of time to prepare for a Certification visit. On the agreed date, a Safehotels assessor arrives onsite to complete a safety and security review of the hotel based on Safehotels Global Hotel Security Standard © of the 220+ standard elements.
Based on the results of the review, three levels of certification are awarded:
- The “Certificate” Level represents the basic level
- The “Premium” Level represents the intermediate level
- The “Executive” Level distinguishes hotels that have demonstrated the highest level of security
Following the review, Safehotels © offers the hotel a diploma, a plaque and digital marketing material.
Every year, the hotel undergoes a renewed evaluation in order to ensure its ongoing certification.
Safehotels ©: The world leader in hotel security certification
Safehotels © is a Swedish company that has been operating internationally since 2015. Present in over 60 countries, the company today stands as the world leader in certification for hotel security. Based in Gothenburg, Safehotels© has representatives based in Dubai, Nairobi, New Delhi, Sydney, Brussels, Istanbul, Mexico City as well as locations in the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America.
In just three years of international operation, Safehotels will have 300+ hotels including 7 in France, with rapid expansion planned from 2019, with its trademark certification. The first international hotel group to sign with Safehotels was Carlson Rezidor, now the Radisson Hotel Group, who recently renewed their partnership due to the ongoing success of the Certification program. Hotels certified in the Luxury sector include Raffles and Fairmont in Istanbul as well as the Radisson Royal Moscow.
Safehotels Certification © is known and recognized to many in the travel industry, such as The Global Business Travel Association, The Association of Corporate Travel Executives, The International Congress and Convention Association, The Pacific Asia Travel Associationand TheCaribbean Hotel & Tourism Association.
Safehotels © has also appealed to organizations around the world; in fact, the brand is recognized by the UNISDR _ United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.