THAILAND – The Phuket Hotels Association has joined forces with Hotel Resilient to launch the COVID-READY Certification scheme, a new initiative to provide guidance, resources and tools to support the safe reopening of hotels and to help restore confidence in the island’s hotel industry following Covid-19.
Hotel Resilient is the world’s only scientific benchmarking and certification body for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in the hospitality industry. It provides hotels and resorts with risk analytics, digital platforms and pragmatic tools for disaster and climate resilient planning, design and operations.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, Hotel Resilient highlighted disease outbreak as one of multiple hazards potentially impacting hotels. In the wake of the pandemic, Dr. Trevor Girard, Director of Standards and Accreditation at Hotel Resilient and his team of risk specialists have evaluated the scientific evidence, international guidelines and industry best practices to set new standards that cover all aspects of a hotel’s COVID-19 prevention and response strategy.
Travelers Demand Safety Above All
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread to almost every country in the world, and its impact on the tourism industry has been tremendous. Due to travel bans and nation-wide shutdowns, hotel bookings have decreased drastically and many hotels have temporarily closed. Even when restrictions ease and travel bans are lifted, it will be some time before it is business as usual.
For months if not years, travellers will be extra cautious with their travel plans, most likely preferring destinations with little to no Covid-19 cases. In terms of accommodation, hotels that can provide an extra level of protection against the virus will be in high demand.
“The new COVID-READY Certification scheme will provide assessment, guidance and support to our Phuket hotels as they prepare to reopen,” commented Anthony Lark, President of the Phuket Hotels Association. “Member hotels can obtain this internationally recognised certification, which will showcase Phuket as a safe destination and provide reassurance that hotels are working together to ensure the protection of their guests, staff and the community. Health and safety has never been more important than now, as we prepare to reopen our doors,” Mr. Lark added.
Teaming up with Hotel Resilient marks the next major step in the association’s efforts to work together in restoring confidence in Phuket, and helping hotels prepare to resume operations with enhanced hygiene practices. Dr. Bijan Khazai and the Hotel Resilient team will work alongside the Phuket Hotels Association, member hotels, and local authorities to develop supporting tools and support hotels obtain international certification.
The Hotel Resilient COVID-READY Certification scheme is aligned with the internationally recognized Hotel Resilient global standards on disaster risk management. It goes beyond hygiene and safety, addressing systemic and procedural changes to minimise risk and address various crisis management aspects, such as response planning, business continuity, and crisis communication with regard to COVID-19.
These new standards are supported by a user-friendly audit and task management software that allows hotels to prioritise areas where action is needed to improve their level of Covid-19 preparedness. In addition, interactive and engaging e-Learning courses are available on the platform, helping to bring hotel staff up-to-speed on the current COVID-19 pandemic threat and describing their roles in the COVID-READY standards, such as preventing transmission or responding to an infection.
“The COVID-READY Certification scheme will make Phuket one of the first tourism destinations in the world to take a proactive approach to safety and hygiene preparedness, based on world-class standards. Once all 70+ Phuket Hotels Association’s member properties are audited and certified, it will provide a safer environment for visitors, hotel staff and the Phuket community,” commented Dr. Bijan Khazai, CEO of Hotel Resilient. *go