DALLAS — Aimbridge Hospitality, a global, third-party hotel management company, announced a collaboration with the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), enrolling 100 hotels in the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management, building a foundation for enrolling additional properties from Aimbridge’s portfolio. This collaboration aims to advance health and safety in the hospitality sector, address the challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19, and create well environments for productive associates and satisfying guest experiences now and in the future.
As a global, third-party operator, Aimbridge is uniquely positioned to comprehensively address COVID-19 concerns for their properties, with a portfolio spanning 49 states, 20 countries, and all major lodging brands and sectors. The organization’s leadership will help accelerate health and safety practices during the COVID-19 era and beyond to meet changing consumer holistic wellness expectations.
“Aimbridge Hospitality is pleased to endorse the IWBI program, leveraging our scale and expertise to create a more comprehensive and rigorous approach to wellness, health, and safety standards for this era and well beyond the pandemic,” said Elie Khoury, executive vice president of operations for Aimbridge Hospitality. “The WELL Health-Safety Rating program will propel Aimbridge and the industry in both supporting and aligning the efforts of AHLA and the brands.”
“Hotels and resorts are among the hardest hit by COVID-19, yet this moment offers the hospitality sector an opportunity to define how its buildings, and those who own and operate them, can play a pivotal role in supporting people’s health, safety, and well-being,” said Rachel Gutter, IWBI president and CEO. “By participating in the IWBI advisory established to shape the WELL Health-Safety Rating for this sector, and enrolling in the WELL Health-Safety Rating, Aimbridge Hospitality is raising the bar for hotels and resorts across the globe, signaling to guests and employees that their health is a top priority.”
Launched in June, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing building and space types and focuses on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans, and stakeholder engagement strategies to help organizations prepare their spaces for re-entry and beyond. Aimbridge has joined more than 100 organizations, encompassing over 7,500 facilities, which have responded swiftly to enroll in the documentation-based program and continue to work towards implementing its scientific guidance.
Adapted from features in the WELL Building Standard (WELL) that focus on facilities maintenance and operations, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is designed to guide and empower the actions of large and small businesses alike in taking the necessary steps to prioritize the health and safety of their staff, visitors, and stakeholders during the COVID-19 crisis and for the long-term. It also serves as an annual process that supports efforts to promote the long-term health and safety of people.
“Every building must be at the heart of the solution to foster wellness and deliver positive health outcomes at scale,” said Dr. Richard Carmona, the 17th Surgeon General of the United States. “But over these last several months, as we all courageously take on this global fight against COVID-19, every sector, but especially those hardest hit—like hotels—must embrace a new urgency to achieve our shared vision. Leadership at the top level, such as that shown by Aimbridge, is crucial to our success.”
Created by IWBI, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is informed by guidance developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies, recognized standard-making bodies, such as ASTM International and ASHRAE, and leading academic and research institutions. IWBI has leveraged insights from its Task Force on COVID-19, established at the outset of the pandemic, to help business and building leaders integrate actionable insights and proven strategies in the fight against COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.