A hotel chain in Hawaii that has been on the receiving end of a string of major health problems is now looking to boost its reputation.
On Tuesday, Marriott said it plans to introduce new hotel policies aimed at protecting its customers.
It will not be a health-oriented policy, Marriott CEO Tom Hedden said, but it will address the need to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and deaths related to infection and other complications.
“We want to get the message out about what a healthy environment is and what the value is for people staying in our hotels,” he said in a conference call with reporters.
The new hotel policy will not only include an increase in hotel stays, but also an increased number of room options, Heddens said.
It will also provide additional staff to manage the hotel’s guest service, he said.
Marriott has long been the target of lawsuits for its handling of health issues in its hotels, including the recent death of a 16-year-old in its Honolulu hotel, and the recent hospitalization of a young woman at its hotel in the Hawaiian Islands.
A spokeswoman for the hotel chain did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hedden did not mention any specific hotels, but said he would continue to consult with guests, staff and others about their hotel experience.
“As you know, we have always been committed to helping our guests and staff get to the best possible health outcomes, and that includes providing a safe, secure, enjoyable and productive experience,” he told reporters.
“We are taking a number of steps to make our hotels more comfortable, more inviting and more responsive to guests.”
The new policy is the latest step in the chain’s ongoing effort to address its safety record.
It announced plans last month to offer free Wi-Fi to all its guests at its Hawaii hotel.
Hedens also said the chain will add a new section to its website for visitors to find more information on what the company has to offer about health and wellness.
He also said Marriott will offer more detailed information about the hotel policies on its website.HEDENS TO TELL HEALTH PLAN EXECUTIVE TO BE MORE ACCURATEAbout one in 10 hotel rooms are considered unhealthy by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a recent study by the hotel industry-backed consulting firm Mercer.
The CDC does not track which hotels are unhealthy, but its study found the number was higher in hotels that were owned by health insurers and private companies.
The hotel industry has also raised concerns about the quality of the care available in hotel rooms.
The Association of Health Professionals of Hawaii and the National Hospital Association have criticized Marriott’s health-care practices.
The industry-funded group has also said there is insufficient oversight in place at the hotel.
In its latest report, Mercer said that the average occupancy rate in hotels in 2018 was just over 50 percent.
The average rate in 2018 in the United States was more than 77 percent, Mercer noted.