Responding to recent violent incidents and sexual harassment concerns, members of the American Hotel and Lodging Association announced that they would increase security measures at hotels around the country, including by giving employees emergency buttons.
Roughly a year after a major shooting at a Las Vegas hotel and with the #MeToo movement serving as a backdrop throughout that year, a major hotel industry group is putting security out front.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association last week announced an initiative to improve security for hotel employees around the country. The group is teaming with major hotel brands on its 5-Star Promise program, which will boost security training for hotel employees, while also giving them access to safety devices for use in emergency situations.
CNBC noted that the buttons, which will be distributed by hotels owned by Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, came about as a direct response to the recent campaigns against harassment in the workplace.
In a USA Today story, Marriott Chief Lodging Services Officer for the Americas, Erika Alexander, said that the devices, which the company has been testing for a year in a number of major markets, have already played a vital role for its employees.
“I’ve spoken with housekeepers who describe the feeling of walking into a guest room and not knowing what’s on the other side of the door,” Alexander told the newspaper. “Realizing they now have a device right at their fingertips is automatically empowering and it reminds them they’re not alone.”
Longtime AHLA President and CEO Katherine Lugar (who recently announced that she would be moving to the same role at the American Beverage Association) said that the new initiative was an extension of longtime efforts by the industry to “continuously update protocols and procedures that keep both employees and guests safe.”
“Safety is a never-ending challenge, and the hotel industry is highly committed to be part of the solution. Protecting our employees—as well the millions of guests who stay in American hotel rooms each day—is critically important to our industry,” Lugar stated in a news release. “Unfortunately, no industry is immune to dealing with sexual harassment, but we will continue to work, day in and day out, so America’s hotels are secure places for all those who work in and visit them.”