TUI’s 10-point hygiene plan will be implemented in the 400 properties of its own hotels such as TUI Blue Nam Hoi An in Vietnam.
Europe’s two biggest tour operator groups, TUI and DER Touristik, want hotels to introduce social distancing measures and improve hygiene standards, including by scrapping buffet catering, in order to operate safely once anti-coronavirus travel restrictions are lifted.
The two German groups have each presented their concepts for how their own properties as well as partner hotels can operate safely and hygienically in future to combat any spread of the coronavirus. Key measures include intensive cleaning, social distancing between staff and guests, virtually no food buffets and fewer entertainment or sports activities.
“Customer surveys clearly indicate that safety and hygiene will be of paramount importance for holidaymakers after the lockdown,” explained Sebastian Ebel, TUI's board member responsible for Holiday Experiences. "With our group-wide, integrated health and safety management system, we can ensure that our hotels meet guests’ high expectations and offer the best possible protection against infections during these unusual times.”
TUI’s 10-point plan, with a set of measures and standards, will be implemented in the 400 properties of its own brands such as TUI Blue, Robinson and TUI Magic Life and made available to joint venture and hotel partners. Here is the plan in detail:
- 1) Online check-in: Holidaymakers can make check-in contactless at many hotels by checking in online via the hotel's website or via their smartphone.
- 2) Distance rule: In public areas such as in the restaurants, corridors or gyms, all employees are required to keep a distance of 1.5 to two metres between them and the guests. For example, tables in restaurants will only be cleaned when guests have vacated them.
- 3) Personnel planning: Staff will work together in fixed teams in order to reconstruct possible infection chains.
- 4) Restaurant: To limit the number of guests in restaurants capacities will be significantly reduced. Tables will be set up at a minimum distance of 1.5 metres apart.
- 5) Extension of opening hours: In order to provide sufficient space for all guests, the opening hours of restaurants and other hotel facilities will be extended.
- 6) Entertainment and activities: Only events, sports and entertainments involving a small number of participants and without close contact will be made available. The spa offer will be adapted and childcare will be organised according to new standards.
Hygiene and disinfection
- 7) Expansion of disinfectant dispensers: The number of dispensers will be significantly increased so that guests and employees can disinfect their hands at all important contact points.
- 8) Room cleaning: all rooms will be thoroughly 'deep cleaned' before the arrival and after the departure of all guests.
- 9) Restriction of self-service: Self-service offers such as buffets will be reduced to a minimum. Wherever possible, food and beverages will be served to guests by staff wearing protective masks.
Extensive training programme
- 10) Training by independent auditors: TUI will train all employees in its own hotels. There will be a comprehensive independent training and inspection programme for partner hotels.
Similar measures from DER Touristik
For its part, DER Touristik is preparing to relaunch its travel programme, including with adapted rules for distance and hygiene throughout the entire trip. This includes a concept developed by its hotels unit DER Touristik Hotels & Resorts (DTHR) together with international experts for employees, guests and partners of its own hotel brands Sentido, LTI, Calimera, Primasol, Cooee and Playitas.
Besides upgraded disinfectant plans, the concept also recommends spatial adjustments in hotel communal areas. For example, distances between seating areas are to be increased and, where necessary, receptions will be equipped with protective barriers made of plexiglass. In the restaurant areas, instead of buffets, alternative forms of catering are recommended in order to comply with the adapted rules on distance and hygiene. One hotel employee would be responsible for monitoring implementation of the new standards.
“We are conscious of our responsibility for relaunching the extensive value chain of tourist hotels, with their guests, employees and partners, and want to use this awareness raising document to ensure that the relaunch for our hotels takes place as quickly and seamlessly as possible,” explained Christian Grage, Managing Director of DER Touristik Hotels & Resorts.