A new hospitality risk assurance certification program seeking to benchmark hotels is coming to Asia

A “hospitality risk assurance certification program” run by a company called StaySafe is seeking to lift risk management standards within the hospitality industry.

Heading to Asian shores soon, the program has heady hopes of becoming the go-to safety and security standard for insurers, travel agencies and travellers.

Forming “hospitality risk standards” as the industry benchmark, StaySafe insists its assurance program can be accepted as a “seal of approval” for hospitality safety and security.

Richard Higgins, managing director of StaySafe, told StrategicRISK Asia-Pacific there was a number of reasons the StaySafe certification risk assurance program was launched.

“We wanted to provide a level of risk assurance to hospitality clients, guests, visitors, owners and hotel management in order to demonstrate their hotels are managing and maintaining their risks to internationally-recognised standards and are compliant with local legislation,” he said.

“Many hotel groups and independent hotels do not employ a specific risk function or have robust internal support systems to guide their progressive management of risk at their properties, so it seemed the natural thing to develop a program that can be adapted to all brands, all size hotels, in all countries, by hospitality professionals.”

Higgins said the aim is to enhance the risk management across the global hospitality industry. So what is the criteria?

“We have a set of minimum standards risk standards in each risk group, these include the following risk groups: fire safety, health and safety, security, crisis management and BCM [business continuity management], and food safety. We have also included an ethics criteria into the program which is included in our legal compliance section,” said Higgins.

“There are three certification levels, starting at Certificate, progressing to Advanced then Excellence. We also measure and assess the ‘risk maturity and culture’ at a property, ensuring risk management is integrated into the business throughout the hotel.”

Higgins said negotiations are ongoing with insurance companies, travel agencies, providers and corporate clients to recognise and endorse the StaySafe certification program.

“It is our plan that the StaySafe Certification becomes a question in most corporate travel lodging policies.

“We are also continuing to develop our StaySafe resource library on our website which provides a large amount of the risk resources hotels need to run their business responsibly. This is continually updated for those hotels that subscribe to our StaySafe program.”

Higgins added the StaySafe certification program currently has hotels registered in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, operating in over 12 countries, with an extension into Asia-Pacific and China “in the near future”.