Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs lists food, water, reproduction, breathing, and bodily functions as the only requirements humans need more than security. In light of worldwide travel incidents involving women, any hotel expert will suggest that female guests should be offered a bolstered sense of security.
Although most recent incidents were out of the country similar to the New York City mother that was murdered in Turkey, hotel security breaches can happen no matter where you are. In 2010, ESPN Reporter Erin Andrews filed a lawsuit against the West End Marriot hotel management because the staff allegedly informed a stalker of her room number and allowed him to book a room next door. As a hotelier, the top priority is to ensure the safety of all of your guests with a special focus on additional security for women travelers.
Females are a growing demographic in the workforce and 28% of women who are married earned higher salaries than their husbands in 2011. Additionally, the salaries of women who are college graduates increased 31% since 1987, while men’s salaries have only increased 16%. Simply put, women are making up more of the workforce, earning more money, and as a result traveling more than ever.
Marybeth Bond, a travel expert explains, “Women-young, old, single, married, widowed and gutsy are fueling an explosive growth in the travel industry. Estimates are that women will spend some $125 billion on travel in the next year.” With such staggering projected growth, it is exponentially beneficial for hotels to cater specifically to this market. More importantly, catering to this trend is necessary to remain competitive in the market, and a quintessential underlying value of all lodging establishments: safety for its guests with special attention to female travelers.
Here are several security tips for hoteliers that will be perceived as value-added and appreciated services by female travelers. These suggestions from a hotel expert prospective can bolster the security for female guests:
- When female guests are checking into the hotel, the front desk staff should not call out her name or room number as a precaution.
- Bellhops and front desk staff should be encouraged to be honest with the female guests about night travel alone. In any case the guest insists on leaving, the hotel should provide them with access to reliable transportation service that is trusted by the hotel agency.
- Hoteliers should suggest rooms that are closer to the elevators to prevent women from walking down long halls or corridors. Women should be given rooms that are not on the first floor with a window or sliding glass door.
- Place a card in each guest’s room with safety tips, like “Never place your room key card down unattended. If you do notice that the card is missing, you should contact the front desk immediately.” This is a very inexpensive way to inform women travelers that the hotel is focused on their security.
- For the safety of your establishment, discourage employees from fraternizing with guests. This opens a huge door for liability lawsuits, and it is just not professional.
- If the hotel doesn’t have valet service, female guests should be escorted to their vehicle, especially at night. The kind gesture will be appreciated and offer the female guest an added level of security. Additionally, it will add a significant amount of value to her stay with the hotel.
- When a female guest checks-in, the bellhop should perform a brief security check of the room with the female guest standing in the doorway or where she feels comfortable. This quick check includes testing the windows to make sure they are locked and an explanation of the emergency exits and how to contact the hotel staff for help.
Essentially, you may consider providing female guests with extra attention as suggested in the prior hotel expert tips to be offensive and biased to some, which can be true. However, by implementing a well communicated and skillful plan, you can position your hotel as the pinnacle of stellar service without ever hinting of being patronizing or condescending.