Marriott’s New Plan for Safe Hotel Stays in the Age of Coronavirus

Marriott International has brought on public health and infectious disease experts to develop protocols such as intense disinfecting measures and touchless check-in that could define hotel stays during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marriott’s New Plan for Safe Hotel Stays in the Age of Coronavirus

Hand sanitizers throughout the hotel, disinfecting rooms between stays, and touchless check-in—Marriott offers a preview of what travel during the coronavirus pandemic will look like.

Courtesy of Marriott

Marriott International has introduced a new set of protocols for ensuring safe, clean, and healthy hotel stays in the age of COVID-19 that will include touchless check-in and the use of hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize surfaces throughout its hotels.

The hotel company, which operates more than 7,300 properties in 134 countries and territories, has developed a task force that includes infectious disease experts, public health and food safety scientists, as well as representatives from its housekeeping, occupational health, and associate well-being divisions.

Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott, addressed the fact that we are all learning how to live with the coronavirus pandemic—and travel is no exception.

“We are living in a new age, with COVID-19 front and center for our guests and our associates,” Sorenson said in a statement. Consequently, the company is rolling out what it calls a multi-pronged plan to elevate its cleanliness standards and hospitality norms and behaviors in order to accommodate the health and safety challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sanitization and social distancing

Over the next few months, Marriott plans on introducing enhanced cleaning technology at its properties—for instance, staff will be using electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize surfaces throughout the hotels. The sprayers will be able to quickly clean and disinfect guest rooms, lobbies, gyms, and other public areas. In addition, the company is testing ultraviolet light technology for sanitizing keys for guests and devices shared by associates.

Marriott will also be placing disinfecting wipes in each room for guests’ personal use, and there will be additional hand sanitizing stations throughout its hotels.

At more than 3,200 Marriott properties, guests will be able to use their phones to check in, access their rooms, make special requests, and order contact-less room service.

In an effort to help maintain social distancing measures, Marriott will be removing or rearranging furniture in common areas and is considering adding plexiglass partitions at its front desks. The company said it is working to make masks and gloves available to employees.

Marriott said it is also implementing enhanced sanitation guidelines and training for food safety, including recommended hygiene and disinfecting practices. It will be modifying its in-room dining services and designing new approaches to buffets, although the company said more specifics on its food and beverage offerings would be made available in the coming weeks.

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Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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