Reputation is everything. A tweet or post of one guest security incident at your hotel can dramatically affect sales for years to come. Here are a number of solutions savvy hoteliers can implement to ensure their property is secure and inviting, especially for women traveling alone.
Text: Laura Myers // FOTOS: iStock
Security on the premises: Certify references and background checks for all staff members, security and maintenance crews. Your current staff and security should be in uniform and identifiable by a name badge, at all times. A strict system of key card distribution and return for non-permanent contractors ensures safety on your property. At least once a year, review and update your hotel safety program. Train staff with protocols for all emergencies e.g. theft, accident, fire, natural disaster, terrorism etc. Emergency escape routes, and locking systems, need to be routinely inspected.
Floor diagrams and emergency procedures should be displayed throughout the hotel. Keep in mind the needs of guests with disabilities. To deter unwanted visitors, encourage your front desk staff, valet and doormen to make eye contact and greet each guest every time they enter. Your hotel protocol could require a guest to show identification when picking up their valeted car, or key card re-issue.
The majority of business hotels have switched to key cards to enable tracking of who enters each room. Furthermore, key cards allow you to quickly make security changes to the lock code, and keep trespassers out of guest rooms, the hotel garage, gym, swimming pool and laundry facilities. Bright lighting and motion sensor cameras in these areas, as well as, the hotel entrance, hallways and elevators contribute to safety.
Room safes are great for travelers to store passports and travel documents. Ensure the guest can use their own personal code. You can also offer a safe deposit at the front desk.
Women traveling alone appreciate extra security guidance while visiting your property. Assign her a room on the second floor or above, with an interior entrance, close to an elevator and away from emergency stairs. In general, do not verbally announce the room number to guests, rather write it down. You can remind guests of the door security features such as double-locking, lock bar, chain or deadbolt for their added security. Should your female traveler request a light bulb change, for example, or extra hangers, give a courtesy call to her prior to a staff member knocking at the door.
Inform solo female travelers of valet parking options and suggest safe neighborhood restaurants. You can also offer assistance, for example with an information sheet that lists suitable transportation options, the location of the conference center, restaurants, and activities.
Travelers are at greatest risk in an unfamiliar location. Your staff needs to stay informed of crime in your area and be able to advise guests how to safely navigate your city. Does your visitor need local currency? Advise him or her on where they can find a safe, indoor ATM. Unfortunately, pick-pockets, robberies and car hijackings are part of city-life. Forewarn your visitors which areas to avoid and what precautions will protect them and their valuables.
Provide advisories on your property’s website and at the front desk. Be sure to include any cultural dress codes or conduct protocols for visitors to prevent a faux pas, or worse, a dangerous situation. Also inform guests of current local disruptions, e.g. subway strikes, political unrest, dangerous neighborhoods, adverse weather. Contact information for the local emergency services should also be made available.
Don’t allow hotel security issues to affect the success of your property. Be proactive! Help your business traveler find security in knowing you are there to provide them with personalized service and peace of mind!