Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association launches new certification for state hotels during COVID-19

Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association launches new certification for state hotels during COVID-19
Updated: May. 27, 2020 at 8:42 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association launched a new initiative to help visitors feel safe while traveling following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The association launched AZSAFE+CLEAN on May 27. It’s a certification given to hotels that fulfill certain cleaning requirements, according to the association’s website.

El Conquistador Tucson, a Hilton resort on the city’s north side, is in the process of becoming certified.

They’ve been following health guidelines similar to the AZSAFE+CLEAN for weeks now. El Conquistador General Manager Otton Suarez said it’s allowing guests to feel more comfortable and, for the first time in a while, their phones are ringing.

“We get a lot of calls, especially this last weekend for Memorial Day weekend, today for today, today for an hour from now to start arriving,” Suarez said.

The resort is still keeping occupancy to 25 to 30 percent to keep an emphasis on safety and social distancing. The pool is only open on the weekends and the hot tub and children’s pool remain closed.

“We want them to realize it’s a safe and comfortable environment to each and every one of them,” Suarez said.

Like many hotels and resorts, they are hoping to make up for lost time and revenue

“The travel and tourism industry was hit worst and first in this pandemic,” said Kim Sabow, president and CEO of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association.

The AZSAFE + CLEAN Certification program is in partnership with the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Safe Stay initiative and aims to help people feel more comfortable.

AzLTA hotels and resorts who received the certification will be able to display the AZSAFE + CLEAN Certified badge at their property or online to show their guests they are taking the necessary steps to keep visitors and staff protected.

“They know that if they enter into a property that has an AZSAFE+CLEAN certification listed on the website or at the front desk they know this property has gone above and beyond in adhering to these news protocols and standards that have been put in place,” Sabow said.

In order to qualify, hotels must meet multiple requirements like prominent signage, constant cleaning of high traffic areas and air filters changed frequently. It also lays out employee protocols, requiring everyone to wear a mask on the property.

El Conquistador has already implemented several which made their choice to apply an easy one. All a way to make sure everyone can enjoy their stay without any reservations.

“The more that they see these type of indicators in place we feel it will increase the confidence and ability to relax. We are a resort we want everybody to have an enjoyable time,” Suarez said.

The AZSAFE + CLEAN certification checklist provides protocols for guest considerations, cleaning standards and employee guidance. For more information, click here.

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