There is a well-established mantra within the UK’s political and constitutional culture that the first duty of the state is to protect its citizens.
Security in the travel industry
Parts of the travel industry are required to take security extremely seriously. In the aviation industry, passenger safety and security are all-pervading, even overriding comfort and service. However, in the hotels sector security is not prominent. This is curious given that a hotel becomes your home for the duration of your stay and your home should be a place of safety and security.
Hotels are exemplary at providing excellent standards for comfort and service, but security is often not a priority and consequently there is a mixed picture across the industry. This is symptomatic of a culture where service and comfort are the dominant themes and a mindset which sees security an unwelcome cost overhead to be kept out of the sight and mind of the guest.
A changing public perception
There is now overwhelming evidence that the mind set of guests has changed in recent years, with survey after survey revealing that travellers prioritise security and safety over all else. The mindset of the traveller has undoubtedly changed from one of ‘it won’t happen to me’ to one of ‘it might happen to me’. This has been influenced by the increased reporting of criminal and terrorist attacks on hotels in recent years. Yet the evidence suggests not all hotels have acknowledged this change of attitude.
Service and security – hand in hand
Many hotels have long acknowledged that service and security are not mutually exclusive concepts and have afforded security the same priority as service and comfort. They have thoughtfully designed security into their service provision at every level in an effective but unobtrusive way and see good security not only a moral obligation, but an indispensable part of good service. After all, it only takes one security episode to undo all the good work of a hotel and destroy a hotel’s reputation.
In a recent interview, Rob Currie, Vice President of Security at Four Season’s Hotels and Resorts acknowledged the close relationship between service and security standards when he said he believes the attention to detail that leads to consistent positive guest experiences can be leveraged into a strong security culture. Rob said, “The passion and focus it requires to deliver good service are the same qualities the Four Seasons looks for in a vigilant security professional.”
Both legitimate guests and intruders with bad intent will pick up on the signs and signals of a good security regime in several ways at both the conscious and subconscious level. A well-ordered environment, with subtle visible security attributes and where the staff are fully engaged with guests and clearly vigilant, will send subliminally reassuring messages to guests whilst at the same time prove threatening to intruders. This will deter many hostiles and reduce the risks of damaging security failures. Ultimately security and service should be one and the same, just ask any guest.
This article was provided by Institute of Hospitality Business Partners Global Secure Accreditation