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Shield ratings as internationally recognized symbol of security standards

For many years, the international traveler community has recognized the 'Star' ratings as a symbol of hotel services and facilities. Today, with safety and security at the forefront of the traveler's mind, a need has been identified to create a similar rating system which will symbolize the levels of safety, protection, prevention and security offered at the property.

The HSMT Group, in cooperation with the Ecole H?teli?re de Lausanne, has developed and introduced the 'Shield' rating system to fulfill this need.

At the base of this classification system sits the traditional anonymous audit. Once the hotel (or chain) has requested classification, qualified representatives of HSMT Group will visit the property in the guise of a standard guest. During their stay, they will thoroughly but discreetly inspect the facilities and services on offer as they pertain to the safety, prevention, protection and security of the guests.

Following the completion of the audit, the results will be fed into HSMTrack, a web-based application developed by the HSMT Group especially for this purpose, and the resulting certificate will be printed from within the hotel, in real-time. HSMTrack naturally takes into account all legal requirements in the country where the property is located, and these requirements become the base for the resulting classification.
The program meets the standards of ISO 9002, BS/8800-1996 and AS/NZS-4804, 1997.

A meeting can then be arranged with the hotel management to discuss the results of the survey. If so desired, the hotel can make additional use of the HSMT Group experts to improve efficiency, systems, work procedures and so on, to obtain higher grading during the next audit.

Finally, HSMTrack allows hotels to access their own information on-line through a dedicated web site, including a comprehensive reporting module to compare performance between audits, and also compare the hotel's results with averages in the geographical area. In the case of chain-affiliated hotels, a comparison can also be made with the chain averages.

Those hotels which choose to join the shields certification scheme will benefit from an additional dedicated web site, which will publish the names and gradings as they become available. This information will also be passed proactively to existing and potential clients, such as airlines, major travel agents and meeting planners, and corporate clients, as well as the major insurance companies. Naturally, the hotel will also be encouraged to publicize the certification on their proprietary web sites as well.



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