Ashford Castle and sister hotel, The Lodge at Ashford, are the first Irish hotels to receive global recognition for their health and safety protocols in response to the pandemic, writes Clodagh Dooley
It’s always good to hear about some positive news within the travel industry, during what can only be described as such bleak circumstances. So we’re delighted to report that Ashford Castle and The Lodge at Ashford are the first Irish hotels to be awarded the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, for the implementation of rigorous protocols in response to biorisk situations, such as Covid-19.
The international accreditation demonstrates that both Ashford Castle and The Lodge implement best practices to prepare for, respond to and recover from pandemics, employing the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention.
GBAC STAR is recognised as the gold standard of safe venues and facilities internationally and is a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association. Many of the world’s leading hotels are currently going through the accreditation process, such is the importance of GBAC’s imprimatur to the hospitality industry.
General Manager of Ashford Castle and The Lodge, Niall Rochford says, “This international accreditation is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery certification, and is hugely important to our sector. To say that it is a show of confidence in our teams and our protocols is to underestimate the stringent nature of the accreditation process. It’s so much more than a show of confidence.
“So, to have been awarded GBAC STAR within just weeks of reopening is a remarkable achievement and a testament to the professionalism and fervour of all our staff.”
In preparation for the reopening of the hotels on the Ashford estate, the teams underwent rigorous training.
Niall adds, “We are already accredited to Fáilte Ireland’s Covid-19 Safety Charter. However, we have to set the highest of standards and the more we can do to offer our guests and staff even greater assurance and peace of mind, the better. This programme has further empowered everyone to do their job safely and effectively. But we haven’t lost the personal touch and warm welcome, for which our hotels are renowned and that’s important too.”
To be considered a GBAC STAR™ a hotel must demonstrate compliance with the 20 compliance program elements, which include risk-assessment and risk-mitigation strategies, personnel training, and inventory control and management. Applications are reviewed and approved by the GBAC Accreditation Council.
Well done to the team at Ashford!
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