Preparing for the ‘Next Normal:’ How SGS is Enhancing Cleaning Protocols in the Travel Industry

For those who have been following for some time, you know that my passion for the hospitality and travel industry runs deep. Seeing how pandemic in 2020 brought the travel industry to its knees has been challenging and heartbreaking all at once. Despite everything that was happening, I made it a goal of mine to support the industry the best that I can. I’m super happy that things are slowly opening back up again, even if they are having to get disinfection services from companies like Naturally Green much more often than pre-pandemic, and want to do my part in boosting the industry again. Be it sharing travel insights to also sharing those who are doing all they can to support the industry.

Of course, the biggest concern for the travel industry, from both the viewpoint of a traveler as well as an industry professional, are cleaning protocols and standards. Safety is a top priority, and with safety comes comfort. After all, hospitality is all about making guests feel comfortable.

Travelers Want Assurance and Reassurance

We’ve seen this time and again, travelers want assurance and reassurance that where they are staying is clean. And being savvy travelers, they want more than just an internal stamp of approval, but third-party verification is more important than ever. The role of external quality control is more important than ever.

Which is why the Cleaning and Disinfection Verification Service from SGS really stood out to me. More than just cleaning procedures, it is the third-party verification that really sets them apart and makes them the new industry standard.

Who is SGS

For more insight, let’s understand SGS as a company and their history. SGS has been in business for more than 140 years, and they have made their mark as an independent verification company that upholds the highest standards in a multitude of businesses. Because of their long history, they bring a level of quality and integrity to everything they do. So it is no surprise the level of commitment and thoroughness of their Cleaning and Disinfection Verification Service.

SGS is experienced in the world health and safety and has a deep understanding of local markets in the hospitality space. Forever committed to continued innovation through technology, research, and development, despite being a large company, is extremely nimble and able to react and adjust accurately to market demands. Holistically approaching the industry, continue to develop monitoring for indoor air quality, implementation of augmented reality in their auditing programs, virtual and remotely supported audits and testing, breaking edge legionella early alert systems, and rapid COVID human testing mobile laboratories. Needless to say, their offerings are far more advanced than simple alcohol wipes. Maybe they could even look at maintaining their AC vents and filters and call upon experts like service providers who deliver solutions for commercial hvac Jefferson County! This might as well be the initial step to bringing back the tourism industry with a ‘clean’ bang.

Hygiene Theater or the Real Thing

Gone are the days where cleaning in hotels would happen behind closed doors, so to speak. Housekeeping magically cleaning a guest’s room while they were out for a business meeting or deep cleaning the lobby overnight. Guests would rarely see all the cleaning that actually took place. But now, there is a sense of “Hygiene Theater,” making the guests very well aware as to what has been cleaned, how it has been cleaned, and even who was the last person within a space or area. This begs the question, how much of it is real or just for show.

It is easy to place a sticker on a door, put a remote control in a bag, or spray down all services with electrostatic sprayers-the question is consistency. And moving forward, travelers will want to know that the cleaning standards in five months will be just as thorough as they are now. Again, this is where the SGS Cleaning and Disinfecting Monitoring and Verification Service really makes an impact. It is not a short-term solution, but something that really has a lasting impact.

Employee Safety and Compliance

True hospitality starts from within. Not just within the hospitality professional, but within the business as well. Employees need to feel as though their employers have their best interests in mind. Many employers might provide healthcare insurance, keyman life insurance, retirement benefits, and many others, which is actually a good practice. But at the same time, they need to ensure the welfare of their employees. Because they are working their best to maintain the image of the company. So, little incentives would never be a bad option! Hospitality is more than just guest-facing, but the spirit of the company as a whole. Hence the commitment to clean is not just for the peace of mind of guests, but also for the concern and safety of those servicing the guests.

The SGS Cleaning and Disinfection Verification Service helps hotels provide a safe environment for their employees. A safe business means that you can still provide the same great level of service, just with higher cleaning protocols. Employees are arguably the first guests, and they need to feel secure. Besides, all businesses (including those in the hospitality industry) are required to form sound health and safety policies as well as perform regular risk assessments or audits, likely with professional help from experts like Sentient (https://www.sentientuk.co.uk/health-safety-advice/) who know the necessary regulations and measures for compliance. In this process, it becomes important that every aspect of employees’ health and safety is considered, whether that involves training the employees themselves or ensuring consistency with the hygiene practices put in place.

More than employee safety, it is imperative to understand local rules, regulations, and requirements. SGS Cleaning and Disinfection Verification Service not only helps hotels put into place enhanced practices that are legally compliant, but they also provide a measure of due diligence. For that added level of assurance, they offer hotels an assessment, suggested cleaning protocols and tools, and then follow-up with continual inspections-making sure that hotels are consistent in their maintenance.

The Future of Travel

Let’s face it, the challenges that the pandemic has given us won’t go away tomorrow. Travel expectations continue to evolve. And yes, we will get back to a world of where the hospitality and travel industry will feel similar to what it was. There will just be changes.

As we move out of this phase where much of the world felt paralyzed, many will be tiptoeing back into travel. With plans of a vaccine rolling out, we have to remember that a vaccine is only one part of the equation. We all must do our part to work together, to move forward. SGS, for one, is helping the travel industry do just that-making travel safe again

If you are a hotelier or a travel enthusiast, Visit SGS’s site for more information: Cleaning and Disinfection Monitoring and Verification | SGS.

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