The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reiterated its stance that international tourism should remain unaffected by the Covid-19 (formerly known as coronavirus) outbreak. However, from stock markets to foreign offices and individual travellers, concerns about the virus have not been so easily assuaged. In response to the concerns of many international tourists, a number of hotels in Thailand have begun taking matters into their own hands, offering increased safety procedures and greater flexibility in bookings for their clients. A prime example of this proactive stance comes from Centara Hotels & Resorts.
Centara, like several other Thai hotels, has taken the initiative, providing added safety measures and greater flexibility for guests who wish to change their travel plans. It is hoped that these two actions will provide peace of mind to travellers and restore some stability to the market.
Thirayuth Chirathivat is the CEO of Centara Hotels & Resorts, who have implemented a comprehensive range of safety measures at each of their Thai properties, in an effort to ensure the health and safety of both guests and employees. “We understand the concern and anxiety travellers are experiencing in light of the coronavirus situation,” said Chirathivat in a recent statement. “We want to reassure them that there is no greater priority than the safety of our guests and employees,” continued the CEO. “The enhanced measures we have put in place at our properties will provide an added level of safety and protection, whilst we are providing flexibility to travellers from China who have had their travel plans affected,” he added.
To safeguard guests, hotels across Thailand are taking a diligent and concerted approach to hygiene, with thorough procedures in place nationwide. Additional hand washing and hand sanitising stations have been added to many public areas in hotels and resorts and in areas where guests and employees convene. At Centara, the group have implemented exhaustive employee training programmes to educate their staff in preventing the transmission of germs throughout the premises.
Many hotels, including Centara, have increased and intensified the cleaning of communal areas on their properties. There has been special attention paid to food preparation areas, restaurants and bars, spas, fitness centres, guest rooms and social areas. Following guidelines from the WHO, many Thai hotels are now exhibiting notices to advise the public in ways they can contribute to the safety procedures.
In some places, thermal scanners have been installed to check the temperature of new guests and visitors, to screen possible cases and protect existing guests from potential infection. Additional screening procedures are provided to guests who register high temperatures, while those who have recently been to China required in some places to provide detailed information about their recent movements and the state of their health.
In addition to more stringent screening measures, Centara has also been eager to provide more positive, welcome assistance to guests. The company is waiving cancellation fees and allowing all travellers coming from affected areas to modify their bookings as needed, at no extra cost. With many Chinese travellers having to cancel their holidays following government bans on international travel, these small acts of kindness from Centara are a commendable and welcome sign of goodwill.