A step forward for the serviced accommodation sector: the industry’s trade association, the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) launch the ‘Stay with Confidence Promise,’ as an extension to their membership accreditation process.
The news was announced in a post on the ASAP website, with the scheme promising to ensure “levels of cleanliness that are pandemic-proof whatever the future brings.”
The Stay with Confidence Promise encompasses a range of measures to promote robust health and safety procedures at each stage of the stay period. These include deep-cleaning accommodation and touchpoints in the surrounding area like lift buttons; hands-free access at properties; PPE for staff working onsite; the availability of hygiene products such as hand sanitiser; and non-occupation periods between bookings to minimise cross-contamination.
Although the association’s ISAPP accreditation process (also adopted by the Global Alliance of Serviced Accommodation) is already comprehensive –accommodation providers must comply with all 250 ‘stringent’ service quality and regulatory criteria of the Quality Accreditation Programme to achieve the status – the decision was made to extend it to reflect the new normal for travel and hospitality post-coronavirus.
“…the industry was calling out for a formalisation of standards that we can all meet, across the industry. Crucially, this offers that all-important reassurance to visitors and travel buyers that serviced apartments offer a vision of accommodation post-COVID” –James Foice, ASAP CEO, quoted in the original post.
The scheme was launched in May. Initial reports suggest it has been warmly received by members who, like the ASAP, are prepared to do whatever it takes to protect guests (and staff), build trust and ensure travellers once again feel confident staying away from home.
Premier Suites are one of the first providers to achieve compliance, confirming in a recent communication that it “adheres to all new ASAP COVID-19 hygiene standards.”
Serviced apartment provider, Cotels is also firmly behind the scheme.
“Safety and cleanliness to build traveller confidence is going to be paramount in the ‘new world’. The accreditation scheme will play an important role in this” –says Cotels Managing Director Marcia Gomez in the original article.
While it is impossible to ignore the challenges and widespread disruption the pandemic has caused, it has nonetheless secured traveller wellbeing and duty of care a place at the top of the industry’s agenda for the foreseeable –a change that is both very positive and well overdue.