InterContinental Hotels Group has introduced a new global standard of hotel cleanliness and hygiene following a major collaboration with internal and external specialists in operations, health, safety and guest experience.
The experts, collectively known as the IHG Global Cleanliness Board, liaised heavily with Cleveland Clinic Chief Clinical Transformation Officer, James Merlino, to design the company’s new best practices and implementation processes.
Building on IHG’s ‘Way of Clean’ program – which launched in 2015 in partnership with hygiene and cleaning technology brands Ecolab and Diversey – guests can expect to see enhanced and more visible cleaning practices in effect. These may include a reduction of high-touch in-room furnishings, new laundry protocols and visual verification of sanitised items such as glassware and the television remote control.
Underpinning the new hygiene regime is a ‘Clean Promise’ from IHG which states that if a guest is unsatisfied with the standard of cleanliness in their room, the property will immediately rectify the situation. The new policy takes effect from 1 June, 2020.
More visible charts informing guests when an area was last cleaned will pop up around hotel public spaces and facilities including fitness centres, swimming pools, lounges, restaurants and bars. Along with social distancing measures, new practices at hotel buffets, room services, catering and banquets are likely to be introduced in line with local health requirements.
Guests may also find a greater variety of reception services becoming contact-free including touchless transactions as a minimum standard, screens at front desks, paperless check-in and out procedures as well as sanitised room keys and self-service kiosks. Guests will be able to access self-cleaning kits for their own use along with disinfecting wipes to use as needed.
Each hotel will also appoint a number of personnel, known as ‘Clean Champions’ to continue to endorse and enhance the new hygiene culture by helping to train new staff in the protocols and ensure standards are met and exceeded consistently.
IHG Chief Executive Officer, Keith Barr, said that while travel may change, the fundamentals of a safe, secure stay will not.
“By combining IHG’s world-class knowledge and processes, with cutting-edge expertise from Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey, we can reassure guests and colleagues that we’re focused on protecting their health and wellbeing.
“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, all underpinned by our new IHG Clean Promise,” Barr added.