Safety, Security in the Spotlight at AHLA
Earlier this year, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) hosted our second annual Safety Summit in Washington, D.C. Building on decades of investment in safety and security, the Summit brought together security experts, national partners and industry leaders to share best practices, real-world experiences, and exclusive updates on new training tools. Human trafficking, the 5-Star Promise, and cybersecurity are just a few of the safety and security issues AHLA and hoteliers are working diligently to address.
As the singular voice of the hotel industry, AHLA is committed to combatting human trafficking. Unfortunately, trafficking networks rely on legitimate businesses such as hotels to sustain their operations and exploit victims. AHLA and the hotel industry are identifying best practices and providing new educational resources and training tools to bolster the industry’s response, and in June we convened a new thought leadership group to advance this cause even further.
Also at the Summit, ECPAT-USA released an exclusive new report, Unpacking Human Trafficking: A Survey of State Laws Targeting Human Trafficking in the Hospitality Industry, as a resource for hotels to ensure their properties understand and are in compliance with state regulations. AHLA members also heard from outside industries on how they are addressing this issue. On behalf of the hotel industry and our member companies, we are committed to working with engaged partners like ECPAT-USA to support and fund research that can bring us closer to ending these heinous crimes.
Since the announcement of the 5-Star Promise last fall, the hotel industry has rolled out new tools and resources to ensure the safety of employees and guests alike. AHLA has partnered with Hospitality Technology Next Generation on a Device Buyer's Guide to help hospitality companies in the process of device adoption. AHLA continues to expand and enhance partnerships to develop best practices and remain at the forefront of safety and security.
While all hotels share a commitment to the safety and security of their employees, the hotel industry faces many unique challenges that won't allow for a one-size-fits-all approach. Technology that might work in a large high-rise property in Chicago may be different than for a quaint bed & breakfast in a rural smaller region. Hotel general managers in Chicago shared successful strategies for implementing this new technology.
Because of the important consumer data hotels have, our industry faces a unique risk in the ever-evolving threat landscape. Matthew Travis, Deputy Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and Crowdstrike Founder Shawn Henry shared insights into unique ways the hotel industry can leverage the public and private sector to protect properties from both cyber breaches and physical threats. They encouraged hotels to be proactive and invest in the long-term safety and security of their properties by analyzing their risk profile and having a cyber plan in place.
Ensuring the safety and security of hotel employees and guests is a never-ending challenge. That’s why AHLA is committed to advancing both dialogue and action in the safety and security space—from discussing best practices and lessons learned to identifying new threats and evolving our training programs. Together, we can help ensure hotels are safe places for all those who work in and visit them.