Serviced apartment security accreditation a “no brainer” says ISAAP

UK: International Serviced Apartment Accreditation Process (ISAAP) says its new security accreditation is ‘no-brainer’ after YouGov investigation.

Global Secure Accreditation (GSA), which purchased ISAAP last year, commissioned the YouGov survey to provide information on traveler security.

The survey of over 1,000 business travelers across the UK explores how business travelers feel about crime and safety in UK hotels. The survey revealed that 80% of business travelers are in the dark when it comes to security.

GSA, which operates and maintains an independent global standard and rating system for hotel safety, is made up of a team of senior police officers, counter-terrorism experts, military and international security specialists who help hoteliers and hoteliers improve their security.

The survey results showed that almost four in five business travelers do not receive any information about the safety and security of their accommodation before their stay, and that one in five business travelers in the UK have been the victim of a crime or knows someone who has been. travel for work. This comes more than a year after the ISO 31030 travel risk management update took effect.

Brian Moore, Director of Operations at GSA, said: “The regulatory landscape has changed and the introduction of ISO 31030 has set a new benchmark for duty of care to traveling employees, which includes the selection of accommodations that have been independently accredited for their safety and security. With growing concern about business travel post-pandemic, it’s important for companies to understand how to mitigate risk and demonstrate how seriously they take the safety and well-being of their traveling employees. .

The GSA acquired the International Serviced Apartment Accreditation Process (ISAAP) last year. ISAAP independently assesses serviced apartments, aparthotels and corporate accommodations for safety and comfort. The global company focuses solely on the serviced apartment sector for security and comfort accreditation. Partnership with GSA means serviced apartment operators and travel managers looking to place travelers in serviced accommodation have full access to new security accreditation, which aligns with ISO 31030 .

Stephen Martin, Managing Director of ISAAP, said: “Over the past year, we have developed a specific security accreditation solution for serviced hosting providers. We were acquired by security experts, so it was easy to win a security award. »

GSA’s Brian Moore added: “We’ve seen an increase in travelers wanting longer stays and larger spaces, especially international travellers. So we were lucky enough to acquire ISAAP last year because they have fantastic knowledge and experience. By bringing the two companies together, we have improved what ISAAP offers to the market, but we are also able to offer assistance and advice to keep travelers safe. The ISO 31030 standard emphasizes corporate business travel, which is key to all of this.

The key findings of the YouGov survey were:

Nearly four out of five business travelers do not receive information about accommodation safety and security before their stay

82% prefer choosing accommodation that has been independently assessed for safety and security

69% admitted they were unaware that tens of thousands of crimes are reported in UK hotels every year

78% receive no information about the safety and security of the accommodation they use

82% said they would feel reassured knowing they were staying in accommodation independently accredited for safety and security

Like recently reported by CNBC, twelve of the UK’s largest police forces were asked, through the Freedom of Information Act, about reported crimes in hotels in their area. Ten police forces provided the information free of charge and results from June 2021 to May 2022 showed there were 4,589 allegations of violence and 1,307 of public disturbances – which often involve intimidation or threats of violence – in the hotels, motels and guesthouses over the past few years. 12 months. There were also 3,999 reports involving thefts, burglaries and burglaries.

GSA’s Moore said: “Hotels are magnets for criminals capable of gaining access to rooms and public areas containing cash, credit cards, identity documents, portable devices, luggage and other valuables. Left unchecked, the safety and well-being of business travelers is at risk. It’s essential that sites always meet the highest standards of safety and security, but businesses with traveling employees should also do their due diligence by checking that hosting providers offer best practices.

Martin from ISAAP explained that serviced apartments are often less visible than hotels, so they are less likely to catch the opportunistic criminal: “You could say that serviced apartments are more safer than hotels as they are only accessible by key card or punch code – you are pretty sure the only people there are those with keys There are potential pros and cons to how you compare safety and security between hotels and serviced accommodation – but because there’s such a spectrum – there isn’t a single clear picture – it’s variable.

Martin added, “To my knowledge, no other company provides the security offering certification specialty in assisted living accommodation. [globally]. At ISAAP we talk to properties and brands and our parent company GSA does all the work with travel managers and businesses.

The GSA also sent out a short survey to travel risk managers over the summer, which found that 53% of bookers, buyers and travel managers still knew very little about the standard. ISO 31030, with only 16% of buyers admitting they are actively updating their policies to meet. the new standard.

While ISO 31030 means that duty of care is a legal obligation for companies sending their employees on business trips, the employer also has a ‘duty of loyalty’, where they are expected to behave in a certain way.

GSA’s Moore said that means training and communication: “ISO 31030 came into effect last September, so we undertook business readiness assessments and worked with [Global Business Travel Association] GBTA. We have trained over 100 travel risk managers from 72 organizations and the training program ends at the end of this year. »

Businesses can complete a short survey on GSA website to see if they are “ready for travel risk”. To view the full ISAAP product line, including security accreditation, Click here.

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