390 participants – mostly from hotels and resorts – across 22 different countries, registered to participate in Hotel Resilient’s COVID-READY launch  webinar and launch event on Monday, May 25 2020. More than 200 participated in the event. The webinar started out with a poll, asking the participants when they thought their hotels would re-open for business again. Most indicated that in their area this would sometime happen beyond August, while a third of the participants have either re-opened already or is planning on doing so by mid-June. 

The webinar was kicked off by Director of Risk Management at Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort and member of the Phuket Hotel Association and Phuket Resilience Foundation, Jayne MacDougall. Jayne discussed what hotels need as they re-open, and outlined the need for an accessible, credible, flexible and affordable approach that allows hotels to implement the many health and safety guidelines developed by both governments and the chain hotel brand themselves.

Dr. Bijan Khazai CEO of Hotel Resilient Institute provided an overview of the internationally-recognized Hotel Resilient Standard on multi-hazard disaster risk management and climate change adaptation. Bijan outlined a risk-based and holistic way to look at all perils through a systems approach, rather than generic crisis management which is the industry status quo. He provided a background to Hotel Resilient and showed how it has developed standards, trainings, analytics and risk management software to help hotels inform themselves of their risk and implement the standards in a clear and guided way. 

Dr. Trevor Girard who is the Director of Standards and Accreditation at the Hotel Resilient Institute provided an overview of the COVID-READY Standards and showed owed how the standards are fully aligned with the broader Hotel Resilient Standards. He then outlined steps based on the COVID-READY Standards that hotels could take to strengthen COVID-19 prevention, mitigation and response strategies. He also provided a demo of the COVID-READY e-learning content which makes the standards easy to understand and come to life through interactive content and lots of useful resources.

Dr. James Daniell, CEO of Analytics at Risklayer provided an overview of the breadth and depth of analytics Risklayer brings into Hotel Resilient. While showing COVID-19 statistics, for which Risklayer data mining and crowdsourcing activities have been widely acknowledged by different news agencies. James also made the case that Risklayer analytics go beyond COVID-19 exposure statistics, and into many complimentary data systems such as Google mobility data that show how recovery is happening on a granular level and can be important to decision support of hoteliers.

Finally, Dr. Andreas Schäfer who is the lead architect and developer behind the Hotel Resilient Software, showcased the various features of the audit software, which can be used to guide users to rate their performance with respect to the COVID-READY standards, take action and track improvement using task management features. 

Hotel Resilient’s Membership Plan was revealed at the launch event. In solidarity with hotels and resorts adapting to the COVID-19 crisis and looking to re-open under these challenging conditions, Hotel Resilient is will be offering free and permanent access to all it’s COVID-READY Content under the Basic Membership Plan. In addition, Hotel Resilient is providing two levels of certification based on its COVID-READY Audit to its subscribing members. Associate Members can obtain a Hotel Resilient COVID-READY certification if they meet all mandatory requirements and pass with an 80% or higher score, following a limited review of key documents which are electronically submitted. Leader Members can obtain a COVID-READY Gold Certification. This level of certification is awarded only after a comprehensive review which can be scheduled onsite review by an accredited assessor in available destinations, or can be completed remotely when this is not available. Furthermore Leader Members who obtain the COVID-READY Gold Certification can distinguish themselves based other their performance level. The highest distinction is a 5 star COVID-GOLD certificate which is awarded only to hotels that pass with a score of 95% or higher.