Business continuity for the hotel sector
All hotels, regardless of their star rating, need a comprehensive and effective business continuity plan
for the swift and efficient control of incidents ranging from pest infestations and hygiene breaches at one end of the scale to events like a fire resulting in injury or loss of life, or unavailability of the premises at the other. In the hotel industry –perhaps more than any other – reputation is everything and hotel management must be prepared for a multitude of risks.
As soft targets, hotels and restaurants worldwide are increasingly subject to terrorist attacks and this sector-specific threat should be considered in the business continuity plan. Most people will remember the headline-grabbing 2008 terror attack involving the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai, but this is just one of 30 major terrorist attacks against hotels worldwide since 2002.
This presents the hotel industry with a particular challenge as hotels need to be friendly and welcoming environments that, by their nature, are open to all. However, a balance can be achieved with discreet measures to mitigate against the threat of terrorism. These include implementing protective measures against flying glass and vehicle access controls in crowded areas, Goods In and underground car parks, along with regular security patrols. Business continuity plans might also include processes to deal with a bomb threat or with suspect items left in or around the hotel premises or sent through the post.
Of course, like any other business, the hotel industry must also protect itself from natural disasters such as flooding, snow and weather extremes or common business interruptions such as power outages, IT failure, data corruption and loss of a key supplier that, if not properly planned for, have the potential to bring businesses of all types to a halt.
The hotel's business continuity plan should document the procedures to be followed during and immediately after a business interruption. For maximum effectiveness, the plan should be practical and venue-specific and supported by appropriate training and regular testing. After a planned test or real-world interruption, the hotel's business continuity plan should be reviewed and revised to take account of lessons learned.Hotel business continuity expertise
Resilience Guard's specialist consultants can help hotels put constructive contingency measures in place that will enable them to:
- Alert the crisis management team and effectively respond to the incident
- Co-ordinate resources
- Prioritise essential hotel functions during disruption
- Communicate with hotel staff, guests, stakeholders and the media
- Recover from the disruption in a logical, systematic manner
- Minimise and manage the risk to key assets
- Mitigate the financial loss to the business in terms of revenue, brand damage and reputation
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