From lockdown measures to social distancing, by now we have all had first-hand experience in understanding how to contain and limit the spread of diseases such as COVID-19.

One of the most important aspects of preventing contamination and infection is cleanliness.

“Marriott has a long tradition of emphasising cleanliness in our care of guest rooms and in the public spaces of our hotels,” says Ray Bennett, Chief Global Officer, Global Operations, Marriott International.

“Through the council and scientific advice of experts, we are taking a thoughtful approach to set an even higher bar of cleanliness and develop new guest interaction protocols.”

Ray is heading up the recently launched Marriott Global Cleanliness Council that has been tasked with developing the next level of global hospitality cleanliness standards designed to eliminate risk and enhance safety for all Marriott consumers and associates.

“Through the council and scientific advice of experts, we are taking a thoughtful approach to set an even higher bar of cleanliness and develop new guest interaction protocols. The Marriott Global Cleanliness Council is focused on more than just disinfection across the hotel; we are providing a holistic approach designed to take care of our guests and associates,” highlights Ray.

The Council will be led by the expertise and input from both in-house and external experts, as well as a number of advisory members. These include Dr Ruth L. Petran, Senior Corporate Scientist, Food Safety & Public Health for Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services; Dr Michael A. Sauri, Infectious Disease Specialist at Adventist Healthcare; Dr Richard Ghiselli, Head of the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Purdue University; and Dr Randy Worobo, Professor of Food Microbiology in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University.

“We want our guests to know that we are doing everything we can to welcome them back to a safe and clean hotel environment when they start travelling again.”

The Council is currently overseeing the rollout of a number of enhanced technologies to ensure that it adheres to the most exceptional of standards in the cleanliness of its hotels and rooms across its more than 7 300 properties.

It will focus on the following:

  • Surface areas: To be treated with hospital-grade disinfectants with increased frequency throughout the hotel. Disinfecting wipes for the personal use of each guest will also be made available.
  • Guest contact: To mitigate the risk of transmission, Marriott is implementing measures including the use of signage to remind guests to maintain social distancing protocols. More hand sanitising stations will be installed at the entrances to its hotels, near the front desk, elevators, fitness and meeting spaces. Guests at 3 200 Marriott hotels can also use their phones to check in, access their rooms and make special requests such as room service without coming into contact with anyone else.
  • Food safety: Marriott’s enhanced food safety programme includes sanitation guidelines and training videos on hygiene and disinfecting practices for all operational associates. The company is also designing new approaches to buffets and modifying practices for in-room dining. To ensure compliance of these standards, Marriott’s food and beverage handlers are required to conduct self-inspection using the company’s food safety standards as guidelines, validated through independent audits.
“Safety for our guests and associates has always been a top priority for Marriott and today, that discussion of safety is in the context of COVID-19… We want our guests to know that we are doing everything we can to welcome them back to a safe and clean hotel environment when they start travelling again,” concludes Ray.

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