PARSIPPANY, N.J.—Highlighting its continued commitment to hotel owners, team members and guests, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest hotel franchising company with approximately 9,300 hotels across 90 countries, launched “Count on Us,” a new long-term, multi-faceted initiative to build confidence among guests and to support franchisees as it begins making preparations to welcome travelers back to its more than 6,000 U.S. hotels.
Launch of the new initiative follows dialogue and collaboration with Wyndham franchisees, members of its Franchise Advisory Councils, leading industry partners, and key trade organizations like the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). The immediate focus is to further elevate health and safety protocols at Wyndham hotels in the wake of COVID-19, shore up critical supply chains and introduce new standards, training and guidelines grounded in guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Wyndham will also partner with industry leader Ecolab on requiring consistent use of Ecolab’s EPA-approved disinfectants in hotel guestrooms and public spaces nationwide.
“We want the everyday traveler to know they can count on us to put their health and safety first,” said Geoff Ballotti, President and CEO, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “Over 90 percent of our hotels in the U.S. today are open and welcoming essential business, government, healthcare and emergency responders every night. We salute these everyday heroes who are keeping our nation running. We know that people will also travel again for leisure and to see family and friends. And when they do, Wyndham will be ready to welcome them back.”
Key early components of the new initiative—designed to be cost neutral when combined with other recent operational changes—are slated to begin rolling out in the coming weeks and include:
Enhanced Cleaning & Disinfection of Guestrooms and Public Spaces
Through expansion of a decades-long relationship with industry leader Ecolab, Wyndham will require consistent use of Ecolab’s EPA-approved disinfectants in all U.S. hotel guestrooms and public spaces. Building on the already high operational standards at its hotels, the move is anticipated to help deliver an elevated and more consistent cleaning experience nationwide while providing hotel owners and their team members with access to Ecolab’s best-in-class training and resources, including a field team of more than 2,000 on-the-ground experts ready to assist hotels.
A global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention technologies and services with nearly 100 years of experience, Ecolab develops its products with a rigorous, science-based approach to infection prevention that helps enable hotels to consistently achieve the highest cleaning standards. In recent years, Wyndham’s brand operations teams have spent significant time in Ecolab’s research and development facilities, increasing their education on best practices and offering perspective on real-world use and how to create a better, cleaner stay for guests.
Easy Access to COVID-19 Health Essentials
In response to the growing challenges that many small businesses and individuals face as they try to secure essential health supplies that meet CDC guidelines, Wyndham will leverage its scale and relationships with world class distributors to begin drop-shipping critical products to its more than 6,000 hotels across the United States within the next 30 days. Items will include face masks for hotel team members, hand sanitizer for distribution in public areas and guestrooms, and disinfectant wipes for guests. Leveraging volume discounts pre-negotiated by Wyndham, these items will be made available at cost to hotel owners with the company financing all initial shipments and deferring payments from hotels until September 1, 2020.
Delivering on the Promise of a ‘Safe Stay’
As a member of The AHLA Safe Stay Advisory Council, Wyndham has joined with other industry leaders as well as public health experts, scientists and medical leaders to develop a series of industry best practices and guidelines that focus on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols to meet the new health and safety challenges presented by COVID-19. In coordination with the rollout of these guidelines, Wyndham will be implementing a series of mandatory virtual trainings for all hotels while providing additional resources like housekeeping checklists, which hotels can use with team members to ensure consistency and accountability in execution.
A Visible Commitment to Guests
Recognizing the importance of building trust and instilling confidence, Wyndham is also taking steps to ensure guests and hotel team members can physically see the above efforts and trust in their impact. On property, guests will be offered sanitizing wipes along with their keycards at check in, notice social distancing enhancing measures in public spaces, observe increased frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas, and can utilize complimentary travel-size hand sanitizer in each room. To further amplify these efforts, Wyndham will make available to hotels a suite of branded collateral emphasizing key safety measures. Similar messaging will also make its way onto the company’s brand websites, emails and social channels.
“At a time when our industry is facing unprecedented challenges, Wyndham has once again proven itself to be an unwavering partner and advocate for me and for my business,” said Ajit Patel, Chairman of the Days Inn by Wyndham Franchise Advisory Council and a 21-year Wyndham franchisee. “By consistently putting first the needs of its franchisees, Wyndham enables us to always do what is best for our hotel and in turn, what is best for our team members and our guests.”
Count on Us is an extension of Wyndham’s signature Count on Me service culture and is the latest in a growing list of efforts by the company to help hotels, team members and guests affected by the global impact of COVID-19. In the last month alone, Wyndham has taken unprecedented steps to provide substantial financial assistance to its thousands of hotel owners; united with leading companies to offer alternative employment opportunities to displaced Wyndham team members; updated its policies to provide travelers and Wyndham Rewards members with increased travel flexibility; and launched #EverydayHeroes, a new initiative honoring essential workers on the frontlines of COVID-19. In the months to come, the company will look for new ways to bring Count on Us to life, including exploring opportunities to expand the initiative to its hotels around the world.