Photo Credit: Hilton and American Express are partnering to offer as many as 1 million hotel rooms to U.S. healthcare workers working directly with coronavirus patients to safely self-isolate. Channone Arif / Flickr
By Cameron Sperance
Source: skift.com, April 2020
The Hilton and American Express partnership is the latest in a growing list of hospitality companies looking to pump life into empty hotels during the coronavirus downturn in travel.
As many as one million Hilton hotel rooms will go to frontline U.S. healthcare workers helping in the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Hilton and American Express are partnering on an initiative to provide up to one million hotel room nights for doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other frontline medical staff who need somewhere to sleep or safely self-isolate between April 13 and the end of May, the companies announced Monday. Rooms will either be paid for by Hilton and American Express or, in some cases, donated by individual hotel owners.
“During this crisis, we have seen so many examples of medical professionals working in the most challenging circumstances, sacrificing their own needs for the greater good,” Hilton President and CEO Christopher Nassetta said in a statement. “They truly are heroes.”
Hilton is initially working with 10 medical associations, including the American Hospital Association and the Society of Critical Care Medicine, to assist the organizations’ more than one million members find a place to sleep away from home as a precautionary measure against spreading coronavirus to family members.
The room donation comes as many U.S. hoteliers have signed onto Hospitality for Hope, an American Hotel & Lodging Association initiative that connects hotels with government agencies to use rooms for emergency services. The plan, which Hilton is also participating in, aims to provide operators with some level of revenue stream at a time when hotels across the U.S. sit empty due to coronavirus precautionary measures keeping travelers away.
“Knowing that there is a safe, clean and comfortable hotel room waiting for you at the end of a long shift can make all the difference in the world right now,” American College of Emergency Physicians President William Jaquis said of the Hilton and American Express initiative in a statement.
Rooms will be available across a variety of Hilton brands and be staffed by team members who underwent additional safety and health training to protect themselves and guests during the ongoing pandemic. Hotel rooms and common areas will also be sanitized with industrial-grade cleaners and updated cleaning protocols in light of coronavirus. While the hotel rooms are free of charge, team members will still be compensated for their work, a Hilton spokesperson told Skift.
“Across the United States, owners of Hilton hotels of every brand are eager to support their communities and be part of the solution,” Nassetta said in a statement. “They have been instrumental in making this response possible.”