PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has launched ‘Count on Us,’ a new long-term, multi-faceted initiative to build confidence among guests and to support franchisees as it prepares to welcome travellers back to its U.S. hotels.
The initiative was developed following dialogue and collaboration with Wyndham franchisees, members of its Franchise Advisory Councils, leading industry partners and key trade organizations such as the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). It’s focused on further elevating health-and-safety protocols at Wyndham hotels in the wake of COVID-19, shore up critical supply chains and introduce new standards, training and guidelines grounded in guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“We want the everyday traveller to know they can count on us to put their health and safety first,” says Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “Over 90 per cent of our hotels in the U.S. today are open and welcoming essential business, government, healthcare and emergency responders every night. We salute these everyday heroes who are keeping our nation running. We know people will also travel again for leisure and to see family and friends. And, when they do, Wyndham will be ready to welcome them back.”
Key early components of the new initiative — designed to be cost neutral when combined with other recent operational changes — are slated to begin rolling out in the coming weeks. These include enhanced cleaning and disinfection of guestrooms and public spaces; easy access to COVID-19 health essentials; delivering on the promise of a ‘Safe Stay’; and a visible commitment to guests.
Wyndham has expanded its relationship with Ecolab and will require consistent use of Ecolab’s EPA-approved disinfectants in all U.S. hotel guestrooms and public spaces. The move builds on existing standards and is anticipated to help deliver an elevated and more consistent cleaning experience, while providing hotel owners and their team members with access to Ecolab’s best-in-class training and resources, including a field team of more than 2,000 on-the-ground experts ready to assist hotels.
Wyndham will leverage its scale and relationships with world-class distributors to begin drop-shipping critical products to its more than 6,000 hotels across the U.S. within the next 30 days. Items will include face masks for hotel team members, hand sanitizer for distribution in public areas and guestrooms and disinfectant wipes for guests. Leveraging volume discounts pre-negotiated by Wyndham, these items will be made available at cost to hotel owners with the company financing all initial shipments and deferring payments from hotels until September 1, 2020.
As a member of The AHLA Safe Stay Advisory Council, Wyndham has joined with other industry leaders as well as public-health experts, scientists and medical leaders to develop a series of industry best practices and guidelines that focus on enhanced hotel-cleaning practices, social interactions and workplace protocols to meet the new health-and-safety challenges presented by COVID-19. In coordination with the rollout of these guidelines, Wyndham will be implementing a series of mandatory virtual trainings for all hotels while providing additional resources such as housekeeping checklists, which hotels can use with team members to ensure consistency and accountability in execution.
And, Wyndham is also taking steps to ensure guests and hotel team members can physically see the above efforts and trust in their impact. On property, guests will be offered sanitizing wipes along with their key cards at check in, notice physical-distancing-enhancing measures in public spaces, observe increased frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas and can utilize complimentary travel-size hand sanitizer in each room. To further these efforts, the company will make a suite of branded collateral emphasizing key safety measures available to hotels. Similar messaging will also make its way onto the company’s brand websites, emails and social channels.