Marriott International is aiming to rejuvenate its event business by offering several new safety options to conference and meeting customers in 2021, including self-administered COVID-19 tests that registrants take at home before heading to the hotel.
The lodging giant said it would also offer meeting planners the option of having a third-party testing service at the site of an event, to check participants before they enter the meeting space. Daily temperature checks and a daily screening questionnaire are also available as options.
The new services will be offered first by Marriott’s Gaylord Hotels and Resorts Group, a handful of giant biosphere-like convention hotels.
The new safety options are additions to standard Marriott safety protocols, such as reducing event-space seating and requiring employees to wear face coverings. They are intended to foster more event bookings as the pandemic wanes.
Bookings of meetings and events, typically a huge source of a hotel’s food and beverage and general revenues, have dropped precipitously during the pandemic. Health officials on the state and national levels have urged members of the public to stay at home and not travel if they can avoid it. A number of locales require visitors from other states to quarantine for 14 days before they can move freely in the areas they’re visiting.