VOLUME 20 - 2012

From the Editor – Volume 20, No. 1 (January, February)

The first couple of months of 2012 have not been without suspense for the Lodging Industry. The ongoing saga of the revised Americans with Disabilities Act continues to affect hotels, especially with regards to the pool lift and access requirements. AH&LA continued to petition Congress and the Department of Justice (DOJ) first for clarification on and then for a delay to implementing the pool lift requirement. Literally at the 12th hour on the day all hotels were required to comply with the new mandates, the DOJ granted a 60 day extension for compliance

Front Desk: Human Sex Trafficking in Hotels is a Major Concern for Hoteliers – Volume 20, No. 1 (January, February)

Because of the transient nature of guests who utilize lodging accommodations and the privacy afforded to these temporary guests, hotels have become prime venues for the exploitation of “at risk” individuals through sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Check any newswire or perform an Internet search and stories of human trafficking and sexual exploitation invariably connect to or through hotels in some form. Not only is human sex trafficking slavery but it is big business. It is the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world. And it is this movement of victims from underdeveloped countries to more developed ones where hotels become initially exposed to sexual trafficking.

Guest Services: ADA changes for pools, recreational facilities, and service animals are here – Volume 20, No. 1 (January, February) 

As of March 15, 2012 the 2010 Standards become mandatory for alterations, new construction, and barrier removal. Newly covered existing recreational elements must comply with the new standard unless compliance is not readily achievable. Existing hotel recreational elements that must comply with the new standards by March 15, 2012 include pools and spas, saunas and steam rooms, and exercise equipment and machines. This article discusses the new ADA requirements and presents visual diagrams for the pool requirements.

Housekeeping: Housekeeping Injuries: It’s time we talk about the elephant in the room – Volume 20, No. 1 (January, February) 

There’s an elephant in today’s hotel rooms that no one is really talking about. Over the past decade, hospitality providers have been engaged in an amenities and bedding competition and have taken drastic steps to remodel and revamp their suites and guestrooms to appeal to patrons desiring luxurious accommodations. Housekeepers, who clean 15-20 rooms a day under intense time pressures are being adversely affected by the heavier, more cumbersome mattresses which have more than doubled in weight and thickness over the last ten years. As a result, housekeepers and room attendants are now 48% more likely to be injured on the job and 51% more likely to incur a serious, disabling injury than that of the average worker in the service industry.

Human Resources: Resume mistakes can reveal much about prospective Employees – Volume 20, No. 1 (January, February)

Résumés can be a great tool for hotel managers to get their first real glimpse at a potential hire. The way an applicant’s résumé is organized, the flow of information, and the way the information is shared can sometimes speak volumes about how the candidate will perform if they were hired. Not only does an error-free résumé illustrate an applicant’s ability to pay attention to detail, but it conveys the personal responsibility assumed by the applicant to present themselves to others for consideration in an unblemished manner. It signals that the applicant cares about how they are perceived by others. The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. So the prudent hotel manager should carefully examine each applicant’s résumé for errors as part of the applicant review process.

Reservations: Top 5 Reasons why hoteliers should add a guest review system to their website – Volume 20, No. 1 (January, February)

Today’s travelers love to tout their experiences whenever and wherever possible. Whether they post their travel reviews on Facebook, Google+, TripAdvisor, Amazon.com, Yelp, or simply send an email to their universe of friends and colleagues, the bottom line is, good or bad, the information is going to get out. As hoteliers, the best possible way to stay aware of that content and control the hotel-to-guest relationship is to add an easy-to-use and extremely affordable Guest Review System directly onto their website.

Risk Management: Business Interruption Insurance: Keeping your hotel afloat while you fix what’s broke – Volume 20, No. 1 (January, February)

Hotels rely upon property insurance to protect against the risk of property damage, from minor mishaps to the catastrophic damage caused by hurricanes, accidents and other unforeseen events. But in the aftermath of a disaster, hotels may face significant losses in revenue which are not directly related to costs incurred by fixing crumbling frescoes or a malfunctioning electrical system, but rather, arise out of the interruption of operations required to repair the damage. If and when this occurs, business interruption insurance may provide compensation for these losses.

Risk Management: First Aid Kits: A good idea – Besides, OSHA requires them – Volume 20, No. 1 (January, February)

In 2010 there were almost 700,000 hotel associates employed in the industry. Over 35,000 associates experience OSHA recordable injuries that year. This does not include minor injuries not requiring medical attention. Each year millions of people become hotel guests. Unfortunately, a number of these sustain injuries while at the hotel or return to the hotel with an injury which may need minor medical attention. Many of these guests will expect or at least hope the hotel has first aid supplies to assist them. This article discusses where to locate first aid kits in a hotel and what items should be stocked in them.

Risk Management: First Aid Kits: Visual Restocking Guide – Volume 20, No. 1 (January, February)

This color visual illustrates the various items that that should comprise an OSHA-approved first aid kit for most workplace locations.

Risk Management: New CPR procedures are easy to use and encourage immediate response – Volume 20, No. 1 (January, February)

Recently many health organizations, including the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and University of Arizona’s College of Medicine, have issued new guidelines encouraging the use of “Hands-Only” cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for first responses to many instances of sudden cardiac arrest. Recent studies have shown that being trained in Hands-Only CPR can make the lifesaving difference when someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest. Hands-Only CPR is a potentially lifesaving technique involving no mouth to mouth contact; with Hands-Only CPR the responder does not give mouth-to-mouth breaths to the victim. The Hands-Only technique increases the likelihood of surviving cardiac emergencies that occur outside medical settings such as in hotels and restaurants.