SHANGHAI, China and MCLEAN, Va. - Hilton (NYSE: HLT) announced today that all of its hotels in Chinese Mainland have officially resumed operations. As Hilton welcomes guests back with its hospitality, each hotel has implemented strict anti-epidemic measures to ensure the health and safety of guests and Team Members. Hilton has also made adjustments to policies and operations in order to meet the needs of guests, owners, and the community at large during this time.
"Today, I am thrilled to announce that all Hilton hotels in Chinese Mainland have officially resumed operations," said Qian Jin, Area President, Hilton Greater China and Mongolia. "I believe that this accomplishment - which is the result of the collective effort of the Chinese people to contain the epidemic, and of our Team Members to adapt to new circumstances - can lend us courage in such times."
"The safety and wellbeing of our guests and Team Members remains our highest priority and reopening all our hotels in Chinese Mainland is the first step in a measured global recovery process. We are doing everything we can to look after our Hilton family, and I am incredibly proud of how our teams have rallied together to support their communities and each other," said Chris Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton. "We are confident that there are brighter days ahead, and we are eager to welcome guests with our Hilton hospitality once again - in China, and all around the world."
From the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, Hilton worked quickly to respond to the challenges brought by the epidemic. At the operational level, Hilton implemented a comprehensive assessment and management plan for hotels' daily security protocols and operations:
- All employees of Hilton Group and its hotels are adhering to strict prevention efforts,
- Continue to strengthen the crisis response mechanism at the Group and hotel levels to ensure that all employees are aware of the emergency response process
- Hilton hotels have strictly implemented the anti-epidemic requirements of the local governments and conducted temperature, health code, and travel history registration checks for guests and employees entering the hotels
- Increased the frequency of cleaning in all public areas (including lobby, elevator, door handles, public toilets, etc.) and adhered to the use of medical-grade disinfectants
- Enhanced training and education on employees concerning hygiene, not only through internal training but also by inviting professional cleaning companies to provide scientific guidance to all staff.
For food safety, Hilton has adopted a mature FSAA (Food Safety Annual Audit) management system to track the source of ingredients, purchase channels, and even throughput within the hotel before cooking. Through various measures - including strict cleaning and disinfection, individual tableware provisions, contactless services, and the health monitoring of dining guests and food delivery personnel - Hilton ensures the safety of food and the dining environment so that guests can enjoy delicious meals with their minds at ease.
To address guests concerns, Hilton launched responsive cancellation policies for guests which were updated five times as the situation evolved. It has also extended the Hilton Honors Membership Program membership and points in a timely manner, in order to protect the rights and interests of members. Meanwhile, the policies related to owners have been updated three times to reduce the burden on their operations.
At the community level, Hilton has continuously taken an active role in supporting frontline heroes in the fight against COVID-19 in Greater China. As medical teams from around China flew to the epicentre of Wuhan to support local hospitals, three Hilton hotels in Hubei province provided clean, comfortable rooms for these frontline medical professionals. Subsequently, as these frontline professionals completed their duties in Wuhan, another four Hilton hotels received medical teams who returned to their home cities after finishing their assignments.
"I would like to thank all of the Team Members in China for their efforts and contributions during the past few challenging months," remarked Alan Watts, Executive Vice President & Regional President, Hilton Asia Pacific. "While we continue to work together as a big Hilton family in Asia Pacific, I appeal to everyone at Hilton to continue in our commitment to the industry and our guests."
Implementing CleanStay Initiative
While Hilton is welcoming guests back to all hotels in Chinese Mainland, it has announced a new program - Hilton CleanStay - to deliver an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection in Hilton properties around the world, building upon the already high standards of housekeeping and hygiene at Hilton properties worldwide. In a first for the hospitality business, Hilton is collaborating with RB, maker of LYSOL and Dettol, and Mayo Clinic, the top-ranked hospital system in the U.S., to develop elevated processes, Team Member training and other changes to ensure Hilton guests enjoy a clean and safe stay from check-in to check-out. The goal of Hilton CleanStay is to provide guests with assurance and peace of mind when they stay at any of Hilton's more than 6,100 properties representing 18 brands. The initiative will create a focus on cleanliness that will be visible to guests throughout their entire stay - in their guest rooms, restaurants, fitness rooms, and in other public spaces.
While full details for the program are still in development and expected to be announced soon, hotel brand standards under consideration include:
- Hilton CleanStay Room Seal: We are adding an extra measure of assurance by placing a room seal on doors to indicate to guests that their room has not been accessed since being thoroughly cleaned.
- 10 High-Touch, Deep Clean Areas: Extra disinfection of the most frequently touched guests room areas - light switches, door handles, TV remotes, thermostats and more.
- De-clutter Paper Amenities: Remove pen, paper, guest directory and other paper amenities; supplement with digital channels or make these items available upon request.
- Focus on Fitness Centers: Improved guidelines for disinfecting the hotel fitness center and ensuring physical distancing requirements are met between guests.
- Clean and Clean Again: Increase the frequency of cleaning public areas.
- Guest-Accessible Disinfecting Wipes and Hand Sanitizing Dispensers: Provide wipes and/or dispensers at primary entrances, key high traffic areas and in guest rooms.
- Contactless Check-In: Hilton will double-down on its award-winning Digital Key technology for guests who desire to have a contactless arrival experience. Guests can check-in, choose their room, access their room with a digital room key and check-out using their mobile devices through the Hilton Honors mobile app at participating hotels. Hilton will continue to expand its Digital Key capabilities to common doors and access points throughout the hotels.
- Innovative Disinfection Technologies: Hilton is exploring the addition of new technologies, like electrostatic sprayers - which use an electrostatically charged disinfecting mist - and ultraviolet light to sanitize surfaces and objects.
"We are excited to welcome our guests in all of our properties across Greater China region. We will continue to increase the already high standards of housekeeping and hygiene at Hilton properties, providing guests with assurance and peace of mind when they stay at any of our 255 Hilton hotels across the region," said Qian Jin, Area President, Hilton Greater China and Mongolia.
Remaining Committed to Hospitality in China
There were 150 Hilton hotels temperately closed to new bookings during the outbreak but today all hotels in Chinese Mainland have resumed operations. Along with upgraded hygiene, disinfection, and other anti-epidemic measures, Hilton is welcoming guests with its hospitality.
Hilton expects that the demands for quality travel, family bonding, and upgrade consumption- which were suppressed by the epidemic - will become a driving force of consumption during recovery. Meanwhile, the government's introduction of a series of supporting policies and plans to promote are expected to stimulate the rapid recovery and growth of the tourism industry. Hilton will continue to actively expand its business in China.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising more than 6,800 properties and more than 1 million rooms, in 122 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, earned a top spot on the 2021 World's Best Workplaces list and been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for five consecutive years. In 2021, in addition to opening more than one hotel a day, Hilton introduced several industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the nearly 128 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can't buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.