BCHA provides access to resources, advanced technology and benefit programs to help hotels offer the best possible service to their guests. We have recently partnered with Integral Services Group to bring to you Integral Surface Protection Program, an all surface durable antimicrobial that helps keep hotels cleaner and safer. A key priority these days for our industry is ensuring the health and safety of staff and guests. Hotels across Canada are enhancing cleaning and disinfecting programs. One hotelier shares their initiatives and the results of various programs they have adopted.
Last quarter, Best Western Plus Sawridge Suites in Fort McMurray doubled its market share of extended stay guests — no small feat when the hotel industry is struggling to recover in the wake of COVID-19. General Manager Paul Jones recalls the overwhelming number of changes that had to be made to their cleaning procedures during COVID. Not to mention the confusion that accompanied the influx of companies trying to sell every cleaning chemical and piece of equipment possible.
Keeping the hotel’s staff and guests safe was a top priority. But it also quickly became apparent that this was a factor in guests’ decisions about which hotel to choose. “Now prospective guests usually ask questions about cleaning and safety protocols before booking,” says Jones. “Many have shared that they are uncomfortable with staying in a short-term rental, because of their inability to verify the property’s cleaning and disinfection procedures.”
“Having every surface in the hotel protected from microbes and pathogens sealed the deal for me,” says Jones. “On-site testing on surfaces treated with ISP showed that the program did exactly what it said it would. Knowing that high-touch surfaces like elevator buttons and door handles are now protected 24/7 not only keeps our staff and guests safer, but it gives them tremendous piece of mind.”
Keeping guests informed about the extra steps the hotel is taking to protect them has proven to be a crucial part of the Sawridge’s success. The safety programs are indicated on their website, along with video links on how the ISP Program works. Responses to questions sent via online booking sites are answered with consistency of messaging. ISP marketing collateral is displayed in key public areas to reinforce that all surfaces in the hotel have been protected. When guests arrive at their rooms, a welcome video on ISP is playing on the TV.
When asked if the Sawridge will continue to use these programs after the pandemic, Jones answers without hesitation: “Absolutely. This will be the new standard. The safety of our guests and our team will always be a top priority. I’m extremely confident that, with the programs we have adopted, enhanced by the ISP Program, we will lead our industry in rebuilding and making our guests feel safe as they start to travel again.”