Meliá Hotels International, managing company of the Palma Congress Center and its hotel, has developed a program for the gradual reopening of its hotels in the post-COVID-19 recovery phase and is working together with one of the most prestigious certification organisations in the world, Bureau Veritas, to ensure that it complies with the most rigorous health and safety standards.
At the moment, both the Convention Centre and adjoining hotel, Meliá Palma Bay, have been converted into hospitals to relieve the pressure on the island's hospitals caused by the pandemic. This has been a real learning experience that has helped the facilities implement the strictest disinfection and hygiene protocols, allowing them to face the recovery and reopening phase with the maximum safety guarantees.
In addition to detailing the protocols and measures to optimise hygiene, the disinfection of facilities and the most important operational processes, the "Stay Safe with Melia" Plan also has an important section on training for employees and the emotional aspects of customer relationships in the situation created by COVID. To achieve this while also prioritising a positive customer experience as far as possible, the program also foresees the appointment in each hotel of a person responsible for the “emotional well-being” of guests and the verification of appropriate compliance with the processes designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
This certification will meet the needs of the hospitality and F&B industry, and will set health standards in all Meliá hotels, which may apply to other hotel companies. As a final result, an operational guide will be created to serve as a roadmap for Meliá Hotels International, to rigorously apply the health and safety recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the competent authorities of each country.
A global and multidisciplinary plan
As a global company, Meliá Hotels International has always relied on the excellence of its team to ensure effective and efficient management and the best possible experience for guests. To ensure that hotel teams worldwide are prepared for implementation, the company’s regional offices have shared the “Stay Safe with Meliá” program with each and every one of its Hotel General Managers, who in turn will share it and implement it with the teams in their hotels.
This “360º” programme includes actions in several areas:
Comprehensive, participative and tested process in hotels
To prepare the program, Meliá Hotels International has leveraged the international know-how and experience of its Risk Management, Occupational Health, Operations, Brands, Procurement, Maintenance and IT teams, and also the support and advice of specialist strategic suppliers. To define new spaces, processes and brand standards, the team has reviewed all the customer contact points: reception, rooms, car parks, swimming pools, restaurants, meeting rooms, spa, entertainment programme, etc. Likewise, in order to ensure that customer preferences are also taken into account, more than 100,000 customers will be involved in the adaptation process through the launch of a recent survey.
To verify that the new product and service processes and standards adapted to the post-COVID context are effective in terms of safety and the customer experience, the company is also developing a battery of trials of new processes both in hotels which are closed and others which are providing accommodation to essential workers. The processes affect areas such as food and beverage services, cleaning procedures for rooms and public areas, simulations of customer flows at check-in and check-out, car parks and pool areas, as well as the estimation of the new capacity limits for different spaces. New digital applications and solutions are also being tested to reduce direct contact with customers.
With a view to the implementation of the program as soon as hotels reopen, the process will adapt to the rhythm of reopening in each region and country, with constant monitoring of the results obtained by the global team.
As Gabriel Escarrer, Executive Vice President and CEO of Meliá Hotels International, explains, “We will be prepared to open our hotels as soon as people have greater mobility and there is enough demand to guarantee a minimum level of occupancy. To do this, we are pouring all of our know-how and the experience we have had over the last few months in our hotels in China, into the “Stay Safe with Meliá” program. The Bureau Veritas certification confirms that the new processes and the adaptation of spaces comply with the maximum health and safety guarantees and the most rigorous international standards, a factor that will be essential to operate in the post-COVID-19 period."
Bertrand Martin, Executive President of Bureau Veritas Spain and Portugal, explains: “We are very pleased to work together with Meliá Hotels International. Bureau Veritas' mission is to build a world of Trust. In this sense, Global Safe Site allows us to meet the expectations of our society in terms of health and safety. In this way, we will contribute to the reopening of hotels and restaurants in accordance with the maximum guarantees of reliability. This certification will undoubtedly benefit the entire industry".
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