The race is on to ensure hotels are adequately staffed before travel comes back to life.

Discreet alarms designed to summon help from colleagues or emergency services are being rolled out by Marriott International as a new standard to housekeeping staff across the US and Canada, with similar solutions to be supplied globally.

The alert devices will be supplied to room attendants to use if they need quick support by encountering a guest requiring assistance or are being harassed by a guest in the course of their duties.

More than a year has been spent testing the alert technology in select hotels and receiving input from security experts and housekeeping teams, with the latter saying they had a heightened peace of mind knowing they could call on assistance if they ever needed it. Marriott says the alert technology has been proven effective in situations where rapid response is critical, especially as the alerts can pinpoint the exact location of the issuer, including the precise floor.

Marriott International CEO Arne Sorensen said he was proud that the entire hotel industry was united around ensuring the personal safety of its team members.

“No one should ever be fearful doing their job, least of all associates on-property who are so vital to the success of our company and our industry. The safety of everyone at our properties is always a top priority as is deterring and combatting harassment of any kind.”

The technology installation will be a medium-term project and is expected to run into 2020 as Marriott works with franchise partners and owners to implement the new safety standard across properties of all sizes from city and suburban hotels to expansive resorts. The initial rollout will cover more than 5,000 properties in North America but will be gradually expanded worldwide.