Singapore Introduce New Audit Standard – Cleanliness

Main Photo: The Grand Hyatt Singapore, one of the first hotels to sign up to the SG Clean stamp.

Date: April 2020

Location: Singapore

What Have They Done: Singapore is launching a new audit system to certify that its hotels are clean and safe to ease post-coronavirus travel fears. The Grand Hyatt Singapore was the first Singapore hotel to receive an “SG Clean” stamp. 

Singapore has launched an audit initiative that gives hotels a clean bill of “health” if they meet seven criteria. Hotels that pass the audit will receive an “SG Clean” stamp to ease traveller apprehensions in the post-coronavirus era.

The Singapore Tourism Board aims to audit and certify 570 hotels, attractions, and other tourism establishments in the next two months and 37,000 eventually.

Ask hotels to name their competitive edge, the tricolon “location, location, location” is the hackneyed response. It no longer applies. Cleanliness has become one of the three most important factors in the road to recovery and in the future. And this is changing practices.

HotelPlanner, which provides group hotel rates to any type of groups, believes that cleaning and disinfectant policies and procedures will become a legal contract item.

“I see contracts including clauses about room and meeting space cleaning,” said chief operating officer Bruce Rosenberg. “For meeting spaces large and small, the current standard nightly clean-up will have to be reviewed and re-defined.”

Typically at large hotels and event centres, this refers to deploying highly experienced personnel, maintaining public spaces, room refreshes at specific times, highlighting the use of environment-friendly products and pre/post cleaning of aisles in a trade show. “I can see event planners getting into more detail in all of these areas,” said Rosenberg.

“Hygiene will be front and centre for 2020 and 2021 until there is a comfort level on cleanliness and delivering healthy stays/trips,” said Rosenberg.

An “SG Clean” stamp placed prominently at an establishment will give locals and visitors “peace of mind,” said Keith Tan, CEO, Singapore Tourism Board.

Assessment is done by independent organisations such as KPMG and, along with certification, is free. For hotels, the criteria include appointing an SG Clean manager to oversee the property’s practices, temperature and health screening of employees, arrangements for engaging external suppliers and contractors, cleanliness and hygiene practices, and compliance with health and travel advisories and government orders on Covid-19.

The Grand Hyatt’s manager Praveen Kumar said as an international operator, strict operating standards were already in place at the property before Covid-19. Getting an all-clear with an SG Clean mark is “yet another step in the right direction to raise domestic and global confidence through independent auditing of public hygiene standards,” he said.

A fast-growing chain Asian chain, Park Hotel Group, which operates six hotels in Singapore hotels, also said prior to Covid-19, procedures for cleaning and sanitation of rooms and facilities and ensuring personal hygiene of team members were already aligned with world standards.

“What makes a hotel SG Clean certified are the extra precautionary steps: ensure general well-being of anyone entering the hotel premises by temperature screening; increase frequency of disinfecting the common areas and guest rooms [now hourly, from every four hours previously]; documenting and recording all preventive measures; and proper management of suspect/confirmed Covid-19 cases,” said the group’s executive director, Shin Hui Tan.

Four of its six hotels in the city have earned the SG Clean mark while the remaining two are waiting for it to be issued.

THPT Comment: Great initiative from Singapore Tourism, and quick off the mark. However one still has to get a plane to get to the the country, a taxi from the airport and a dozen other areas where nasty bugs could lurk….

First Seen: Business Insider

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