Marriott International announced Tuesday that it will be elevating its cleanliness standards and hospitality norms and behaviors to meet the new health and safety challenges presented by the current pandemic environment.
“We are living in a new age, with COVID-19 front and center for our guests and our associates,” said Arne Sorenson, president and CEO, Marriott International. “We want our guests to understand what we are doing today and planning for in the near future in the areas of cleanliness, hygiene and social distancing, so that when they walk through the doors of one of our hotels, they know our commitment to their health and safety is our priority.”
The Marriott Global Cleanliness Council
Marriott has created the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council to tackle the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic at the hotel level and advance the company’s efforts in this area. The council is chaired by Ray Bennett, chief global officer, global operations, Marriott International, and will receive input from both in-house and outside experts, including senior leaders from across Marriott disciplines like housekeeping, engineering, food safety, occupational health and associate wellbeing.
The Marriott Global Cleanliness Council also includes advisory members Dr. Ruth L. Petran, senior corporate scientist, food safety and public health for Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services; Dr. Michael A. Sauri, infectious disease specialist at Adventist Healthcare; Dr. Richard Ghiselli, head of the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Purdue University; and Dr. Randy Worobo, professor of food microbiology in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University.
New Technology to Counter Virus Spread
Marriott is rolling out enhanced technologies over the next few months, including electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize surfaces throughout the hotel. Electrostatic spraying technology uses the highest classification of disinfectants recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) to treat known pathogens. The sprayers rapidly clean and disinfect entire areas and can be used in a hotel setting to 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.
A number of additions to Marriott’s cleaning regimen, designed to set an even higher standard of cleanliness for the hotels, include:
- Surface Areas: COVID-19 has raised awareness about the importance of high-touch surface cleanliness. In public spaces, the company is requiring that surfaces are thoroughly treated with hospital-grade disinfectants and that this cleaning is done with increased frequency—the same goes for guestrooms. Marriott will also be placing disinfecting wipes in each room for guests’ personal use.
- Guest Contact: To help alleviate the risk of transmission via person-to-person contact, the company will be using signage in its lobbies to remind guests to maintain social distancing protocols and removing or re-arranging furniture to allow more space for distancing. Marriott is also evaluating adding partitions at front desks to provide an extra level of precaution for our guests and associates and is working to make masks and gloves available to associates. It is installing more hand sanitizing stations at the entrances to its hotels, near the front desk, elevator banks and fitness and meeting spaces. In addition, in over 3,200 of Marriott’s hotels, guests can choose to use their phones to check in, access their rooms, make special requests and order room service that will be specially packaged and delivered right to the door without contact.
- Food Safety: Marriott’s food safety program includes enhanced sanitation guidelines and training videos for all operational associates that includes hygiene and disinfecting practices. In addition, the company is modifying its operational practices for in-room dining and designing new approaches to buffets.