How Safehotels as a hotel certification agency has evolved over the years?
Safehotels is the brainchild of Hans Kanold, who back in 2001 was working as a Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for an international hotel company in Gothenburg Sweden. Hans looked for an independent international hotel security and safety standard to certify his hotels and more easily communicate this differentiation to the hotel room buying markets. To his surprise, he discovered there was no such standard.
Hans developed the Certification and Global Hotel Security standard in his home market of Sweden for many years to beta test it and ensure it was established and robust enough to be introduced to the international market. Over these years, Safehotels became the pioneer for hotel safety and security independent certification, spreading the message through international seminars and forums.
After many years of creating a solid foundation in Sweden, Safehotels forayed into international market by opening an office in Dubai in 2013, and got the first international hotel company contract with Carslon Rezidor for Radisson Blu. At the same time, independent hotel certification reference hotels were established in cities such as Istanbul and Nairobi. Having established in Europe, Middle East and Africa, it is time to look at India as a receptive and dynamic growth market for hotel safety and security certification.
What is the Global Hotel Security Standard?
The Global Hotel Security Standard is an independent standard of safety and security best practice verification and award merit for hotels around the world. The standard was developed after examining safety and security standards of international hotels, corporate company hotel safety and security standards, and guidelines produced by government bodies such as US OSAC and as well as the UN. Global Hotel Security Standard consists of over 200 standard elements relating to a hotel’s Property and Building – Safety Process, Procedure, Management and Training; Security Equipment – Fire Equipment – Fire Training and Management; Crisis Training and Management, etc. Each year the standard is reviewed considering the new trends or developments in hotel safety and security. When a hotel achieves the standard following a verification review and audit – the hotel is awarded a Certificate Diploma and Plaque to display at the hotel entrance and at reception.
How Safehotel certification benefits hospitality units in their branding and marketing efforts?
Safehotels benefits for hospitality branding and marketing are based on Compliance – Communication – Differentiation – Preference. Safehotels is a marketing and brand ‘trust symbol’, with which a hotel and hotel company can directly show they value and invest in safety and security compliance as Safehotels awards diploma certificate, provides Safehotels brand logo marketing materials for websites, blogs and newsletters, etc. In addition, by providing wall mounted plaques and flying the Safehotels flag, the investment in Compliance and care is directly communicated to the market.
What are the different levels of certification that Safe Hotels awards to hotels, and what are the key check points involved in the certification?
Safehotels has three levels of certification. They are Certificate, Premium and Executive. Each hotel is reviewed and audited for all 200+ Standard elements. However, some standard elements are weighed more than others in terms of criticality, best practice and mandatory requirements . Those hotels that invest in and maintain higher levels of security best practice will usually be awarded a higher level of certification.
When did Safehotels come into India, and what are your plans for the India market?
A successful pilot project was conducted at the Radisson Blu Plaza Airport Hotel Delhi in April this year and a partnership established with TAG Group to develop Safehotels in India and the South Asia market. We have already received interest from other hotels and hotel groups in Delhi and other Indian cities which we are hopeful of converting to fully certificated hotels during 2016 and grow even stronger in India in the coming years.