The tourism industry is not dead, far from it. It’s only sleeping. And as the industry begins to wake and nations gradually open their locked down doors, the hospitality sector, led by those fortunate enough to still be able to operate, has launched initiatives to ensure safety of guests.
Facility sanitation and luggage disinfection
Homegrown Megaworld properties Belmont Hotel Manila and Savoy Hotel Manila team up with long-time sanitation partner Diversey Philippines to assure guests of a safe stay with its stringent health measures.
“Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 health crisis in these uncertain times, the team, through careful planning and coordination, have commenced a series of initiatives to ensure that we shall be ready for the ‘new norm’ and other government-mandated protocols once we have resumed normal operations,” said Savoy and Belmont area general manager Avinash Menon.
On top of the common thermal scanning, physical distancing and wearing of face mask, key protocols at the airport hotels now include luggage sanitation; regular disinfection of guest rooms and high-frequency touch points, public areas, and facilities; and thorough disinfection of bed linens and towels during laundry; among others.
Meanwhile, dusitD2 Davao and Dusit Thani Residence Davao enhance their stringent health and safety practices, which include frequent sanitization of all rooms and public areas, availability of social distancing floor markers and hand sanitizers in key areas, and disinfection of guest transport after every use.
Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria also follows enhanced measures in sanitation and disinfection of guestrooms, including beddings and linens.
Hand sanitizers are installed at entrances and other areas in the Ortigas-based hotel. Floor markers have been placed within the hotel including the lobby and elevators to enforce and guide guests to observe social distancing. A patrolling safety officer is present to ensure hygiene and safety standards including frequent cleaning and sanitizing of high touch areas and regular misting. Escalators have also been equipped with UV Handrail sanitizer.
Mandatory travel history checks
In addition to temperature checks and stepping on foot baths before entering, guests will now be required to accomplish mandatory travel history checks upon check-in at Dusit Davao properties.
Crowne Plaza will also request guests to accomplish a health declaration form prior to their arrival. The hotel also encourages pre-settlement of payment for seamless check-in.
Together but apart
As these establishments prepare to welcome guests coming from different places, distancing measures shall be expected.
Dusit Davao prepares provision of appropriate space in restaurants. It has also launched a new program, Flexible Stays, which offers flexible check-in times and breakfast available at any time of the day to limit long lines as well as provide added convenience for guests.
For meetings and events, capacity for function rooms and ballrooms will follow Davao City’s government guidelines which is now set to a maximum of 25 persons.
Meanwhile, buffet will be replaced with live cooking stations or individual plated portions with dedicated food handlers.
“The past few months have been challenging but we are looking forward to welcoming back guests as soon as we are allowed. The health and safety of guests remain our top priority which is why we have been very busy preparing the properties,” said Christopher Kuch, resident manager of dusitD2 Davao, Dusit Thani Residence Davao, and Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort.
Kuch said Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort will remain temporarily closed, but open to exclusive and private events and weddings of up to 50 percent of the resort capacity.
While Crowne Plaza’s restaurants are unable to accommodate dining reservations, Comfort Food on The Go is being offered in the meantime. In relation to this, the property’s culinary team follows strict food handling standards, including proper washing of all ingredients; wearing of masks, mouth guards, gloves, and caps; frequent hand washing every 30 minutes; and regular cleaning of workstations every 20 minutes.
PPE and training for staff
Much like other staff in the service industry, hotel team members at Savoy and Belmont will be wearing personal protective equipment including masks and hand gloves.
Dusit Davao hotels’ “new normal” initiatives also include requiring staff to wear PPEs, including face masks, face shields, and gloves at all times. Further, Dusit said key employees and management are trained on virus protection and control procedures based on the World Health Organization guidelines.
Likewise, all associates of Crowne will be wearing PPEs and are expected to follow social distancing and hygiene protocols. The Ortigas-based hotel said all employees were asked to visit the clinic for proper screening and accomplish a self-declaration health checklist before returning to work.
Bringing outdoors in
Immersing in locals’ way of life is part of many travelers’ itineraries, which unfortunately is challenging to do at the moment, if restricted. Hence, Dusit Davao brings local experience inside as it partners with local culinary specialists and craftspeople so guests can enjoy food and purchase souvenirs without having to leave the comfort of the hotels.
To enable contactless and efficient service, Dusit is also implementing new technology to allow for online check-in and check-out, online payments, and installing digital menus in its various outlets.
Guests who are checked-in are also able to access the StayPlease app through their mobile phones via a QR code on their in-room IPTVs to request various services such as laundry, room service, and housekeeping while minimizing contact.
In addition to hygiene kits, some hotels now provide care kits that aim to protect guests. For instance, a Dusit Care Kit consists of hand sanitizer, a face mask, and antibacterial wipes.