NEW YORK-—To support hoteliers in successfully getting back to business, strengthen pandemic recovery efforts and reassure guests and staff alike, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and AAHOA are joining forces to provide AAHOA’s nearly 20,000 membership network with further health and safety guidance and education. The new partnership will give the largest hotel owners association in the nation access to special tools and resources to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating, as well as live webcasts and forthcoming member-only events.
“Recognizing the tremendous challenges in taking necessary steps to prioritize health and safety of staff, guests and stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Cecil P. Staton, AAHOA president/CEO, “IWBI, a global leader in advancing health and wellness in buildings and communities globally, will offer our members invaluable insights and expertise that complement AAHOA’s existing and robust hotelier resources.”
IWBI recently introduced the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management. The rating is an evidence-based rating focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder education, and works in conjunction with Safe Stay, providing additional confidence of third-party verification and a competitive advantage.
“The WELL Health-Safety Rating provides an efficient and cost-effective opportunity to guide, validate, recognize and scale owner-operator efforts on critical health and safety issues,” said Rachel Gutter, IWBI president/CEO. “It includes a critical focus on cleaning and sanitization protocols, but also involves a broader assessment of factors contributing to overall health and wellness and indicates a long-term commitment to health and safety, while accommodating immediate-term needs.”
In developing the rating, IWBI convened a WELL Advisory for Hotels and Resorts, featuring leaders across the hospitality ecosystem—including representation from AAHOA, along with other brands, operators, owners and associations—to review the criteria and application of the rating in the hospitality sector.
As part of the partnership, AAHOA members are eligible for a 25% discount when enrolling to pursue the WELL Health-Safety Rating. As of November, more than 7,500 projects in 21 countries have enrolled, accounting for more than 400 million sq. ft. of space. Among the facilities that have been WELL Health-Safety Rated are:
RMZ Corp: The first globally to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating, across 41 properties in India.
Yankee Stadium: The first sports venue in the world to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating.
Empire State Building: As part of the Empire State Realty Trust, it was the first commercial portfolio to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating.