EDMONTON — Explore Edmonton is pursuing a city-wide Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR Accreditation for Edmonton as part of a collaborative initiative with the Edmonton International Airport, Edmonton Destination Marketing Hotels (EDMH), the Oilers Entertainment Group and the already accredited Edmonton Convention Centre and Edmonton EXPO Centre.

The initiative aims to position Edmonton among the healthiest and safest destinations for business and leisure travel in North America. And, once complete, Edmonton would be the first and only Canadian destination to obtain the GBAC STAR Accreditation.

“Edmonton’s tourism, hospitality and events industries will play an important role in our region’s post-COVID recovery, getting people back to work, welcoming travellers back to the city and delivering important economic and social benefits to our region,” says Maggie Davison, acting CEO, Explore Edmonton. “Edmonton’s GBAC STAR Accreditation will ensure our international airport, major venues and hotels are all working towards the same standards for cleanliness and outbreak prevention. By working in partnership, Edmonton can safely re-open for business and provide one of the safest travel experiences in North America, from arrival to departure.”

The GBAC STAR Accreditation program is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities and destinations. Under the initiative, the cleaning and sanitization programs of participating Edmonton hotels, venues and transportation agencies will be accredited and validated by the gold-standard program, which prepares them with the right systems to protect against bio-risk situations, including COVID-19. To receive accreditation, facilities will be required to demonstrate compliance with 20 specific elements, including maintaining strict cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, infectious-disease prevention planning and staff training.

“We recognize that we live in unparalleled times. Hotels have always had strong cleanliness standards, but operating through a pandemic has amplified those requirements, ensuring the safety of our guests and staff,” says Barnie Yerxa, Board Chair, EDMH, which represents 38 participating properties across Edmonton. “Our organization has always been one to collaborate with key partners within the City of Edmonton and that is why our organization jumped at the opportunity when Explore Edmonton brought the idea of bringing multiple organizations together to showcase our city as a safe destination to travel to when the time is right. As we’ve advanced over the years with state-of-the-art online-bookings systems, increased in-room amenities and gourmet-level food-and-beverage offerings, the newest standard that participating hotels will incorporate is a sanitized level of safety, thanks to the GBAC STAR.”

Edmonton’s accreditation process is expected to be finalized this spring.


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