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How to address security challenges unique to the hospitality sector?

By: Marie-Claire Asseko
April 6, 2017

Hotel managers’ priority is to attract as many guests as possible and have them go through the fewest number of hindrances to access their facilities. Simultaneously they have to prevent unwelcome individuals from entering their premises and monitor suspicious behaviours.

The hospitality sector faces many distinct and unique security challenges. Traditionally, businesses often actively control who comes in and goes out of their premises. They want their employees, suppliers and customers to move freely around certain areas while keeping unauthorized individuals completely out.

Hotel managers’ priority, on the other hand, is to attract as many guests as possible and making them go through the fewest number of hindrances to access their facilities. As such, these businesses must secure their premises in ways which minimally impact the customer experience. Ideally, guests are entirely unaware of security features.

With so many people having easy access, crimes at these locations are a regular occurrence. Robbing of ATMs, credit card fraud, prostitution and drug possession are all common incidents. And hotels, to protect their reputation, are reluctant to report them. Through its expertise, GardaWorld addresses security challenges specific to the hospitaly sector:

  • One solution is environmental design. This involves identifying various aspects of the location which are of threat to security and redesigning them to provide protectionand dissuade criminal activity. Security is about more than stopping crime.

“Occupational health & safety is another concern, as well as the potential for accidents among visitors.”

  • GardaWorld’s first line of defense is its self-assessment test. Hoteliers evaluate their own space, and the assessment highlights areas in need of improvement. In many cases, the hotel can address indicated problems on their own. This self-assessment is so thorough that the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) actively encourages local businesses to do it. In addition, Edmonton police has deemed the assessment as quite like what they cover when evaluating a business.

But there’s still plenty of need for third party security:

  • Indeed, businesses which manage their security program in-house incur all associated liability. Hiring a respectable security services provider ensures that much of the liability is transferred to them.

  • Costs for training, insurance, uniforms, equipment and more become the responsibility of the third party company, saving the hotel considerable funds.

GardaWorld is actively involved in the hospitality sector in Alberta. We are the only security firm to be a member of the AHLA, which promotes education and advocacy for the hotel industry. GardaWorld will be present at the AHLA Convention and Trade Show, the biggest hospitality event in Alberta, from April 9 to April 11 in Edmonton.

We will also be present at the Hospitality Safety and Security Education Conferenceon October 17 as a platinum sponsor. The conference is hosted by the Alberta Hospitality Safety Association (AHSA), an organization all members of the hospitality industry in Alberta must be a member of.

GardaWorld is dedicated to making places of business in all industries safer for both employees and visitors. The hospitality sector presents its own unique challenges, but these challenges can be overcome through both third party security services and each business’s own diligence.

We offer a summarized self-assessment checklist to help businesses evaluate where their facilities stand at security-wise. Please note that this checklist is in no way a substitute for a dedicated security review, conducted by a trained professional.

Contact us for more information on how to protect your hotel properties.