When travelers and tourists check in at a hotel for the night, they expect to be safe and secure in their surroundings. This is especially true of those staying at a luxury resort or casino – top-notch security goes part and parcel with the luxurious amenities guests expect from these lodgings. Simply adding decorative aesthetics and high-end furnishings won’t matter much to guests if there’s a risk of being robbed or assaulted by unwelcome visitors.
Determining the probability of risks
“Luxury hotels and the travelers they house are prime targets for criminals.”
Since there is a constant flow of new people coming in and out of hotels, and the guests are always on the move, hotels and the travelers they house are targets for criminals. Unfortunately, there is no single repository of data on the specifics about crimes that occur at luxury hospitality resorts, and most agencies don’t record the details of these incidents. However, according to the most recent report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 7,840 incidents of violent crime at hotel and motel rooms, accounting for 0.1 percent all of locations where a violent crime occurred between 2004 and 2008. In addition, these were also the scene of 45,910, or 0.3 percent of all property victimizations during this same time period.
A recent investigation into hotel theft by the USA Today revealed neither hotels nor the police keep statistics on these crimes. However, Farina, a hotel security consulting agency, estimated that a big-city hotel will experience at least one crime a day.
Going back a little further, a 2004 study conducted by researchers at Florida State University and Ball State University examined the rate of crime at hotels throughout Miami-Dade County, Florida. This area is a prime destination for tourists and travelers. At the time of the study, more than 189 motels and 277 hotels – many of them luxury resorts – dotted the county’s landscape, housing more than 15 million travelers who passed through the Miami International Airport in 2002. Further, the source noted that these sightseers spent $11.8 billion on companies servicing the tourism industry.
The study noted that foreign travelers and female visitors are more vulnerable to be robbed, while their hotel rooms are highly susceptible to being burgled. Further, the study discovered that more than 58 percent of these criminal acts took place outside the hotel, such as their parking lots and surrounding property.
Improving security measures
Brokers and agents providing hotel liability insurance should work with managers at these facilities to ensure they’re implementing state of the art security measures that the best hotels, resorts and casinos have implemented to combat this exposure. Without effective and robust security measures in place, guests at luxury hotels and resorts are not only more likely to be victims of crimes, but it will take a toll on the hospitality facility’s reputation, which will negatively impact the company’s profits.
Brokers and agents can work with their luxury hotel and resort clients to help them implement these security measures to ensure a greater level of guest and employee safety at these hospitality establishments:
Establish restricted access to the buildings after hours
People are constantly entering and leaving hotels at all hours of the day and night. Many criminals take advantage of lax restrictions on after-hour access to commit their nefarious acts against guests and employees. Instead of leaving their hotels and resorts completely open to the public around the clock, it can be wise to establish stricter access capabilities during the evening and especially in the wee hours of the night.
Utilize secure room key cards and dead bolts on the doors
The lock on hotel room can be one of the most reassuring aspects for a guest. Shutting that door and clicking the lock provides a real sense of security. However, if these locks are faulty, old or malfunctioning, then it obliterates this feeling of safety. Although upgrading room keys to make sure they’re top of the line and adding dead bolts on doors might cost a hotel a bit more money, these features are crucial to ensuring a safe environment for guests.
Further, luxury hotels and resorts typically have guests that tend to have a bit more money on them when they travel. Having a secure place in the room to store extra money, jewelry and valuables such as a safe is another way to alleviate guests’ concerns and add an extra layer of security.
Hire more security guards
Security guards not only act as a method for catching potential criminals, but they also act a deterrent in the first place. Simply having a security guard on the hotel premise curbs individuals from potentially engaging in criminal activity. In addition, the presence of a security guard assures guests that the hotel or resort is safe.
Install surveillance cameras
Surveillance cameras are less expensive now than ever and they come with more features than before. With cameras that sync up to computers and mobile devices, the security guards can keep a watchful eye on every last square inch of the hotel where a camera has been installed, no matter where the individual is located.
Hotel liability insurance
Sometimes, despite the best efforts of luxury hotel and resort owners and managers, criminal elements still persist to cause trouble for guests and employees. The risks to luxury hotels and resorts means that having a robust hotel liability insurance policy in place is essential for financially protecting the establishment’s best interest. Brokers and agents who partner with McGowan Program Managers to provide liability insurance for luxury hotels and resorts gain years of experience and a wealth of knowledge to help identify and respond to the risks facing the leisure industry.