Last Updated on October 29, 2020
With so many people relying on their services to spend a pleasant and carefree staying, hotels have to be safe. But with so many people moving around in the same space, everything becomes much more unpredictable. Hotel security policies and procedures are carefully thought out by experienced professionals so that nothing goes wrong. And if something does go wrong, there are security measures in place to minimize damage and control the situation. Nonetheless, there are still a few common hotel safety problems that you should know about! Here are some of the most worrying security challenges in the hotel industry right now, according to several travel security experts!
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Theft is considered one of the main and most common problems in the hotel industry. Most visitors think of their hotel room as a safe place, so they lower their guard. This opens the opportunity for this type of crime to occur. Malicious guests and unauthorized visitors can sneak into a room and take anything of value in the blink of an eye. Moreover, a considerable amount of guests also have this weird habit of assuming that hotel amenities are gifts they can take home at the end of their stay. Besides the usual mini bottles of shampoos, towels, and those almost disposable bedroom slippers, some customers steal curtains and bed linen. And these cases are more frequent than what you might think.
2. Hotel employees
Hotel employees are also a point of concern. They have access to any area of the hotel, and their presence does not raise any suspicion. This means they can move around freely. To make matters worse, they can stumble upon a large sum of money or an extremely valuable item and may be tempted to snatch it on impulse. Hotel security tip number 1: always use the electronic safe you have at your disposal. Given all this, managers had to focus on guest safety and security in hotels. Surveillance cameras in strategic spots are probably the most effective tools to tackle this type of incident. Guests should also know that many travel insurance policies cover theft in hotel rooms. Trip insurance is also a great way to protect yourself against such unforeseen events.
For whatever reason, some guests tend to behave recklessly when staying in hotel rooms. Part of them even acts like true vandals. This disorderly conduct can lead to property damage or altercations with other guests. These situations are very difficult to prevent, given their unpredictability. Hotels usually have security staff on alert to deescalate any potentially dangerous situation before damage is done or someone gets hurt. Additionally, guests are charged for the damage they cause. Of course, if a guest accidentally breaks a lamp and explains the situation promptly, hotel managers may let it go. But damages caused by inappropriate behavior will always be charged. No matter what. Just be as careful as you would be if you were in your own home and avoid confrontations with other guests, especially if they are visibly intoxicated – that’s probably one of the most dangerous things you do in a hotel.
Whenever you check-in at the hotel, you should take a couple of minutes to familiarize yourself with the building’s general layout and the emergency route. This may seem unnecessary, but in case of an emergency, it can save your life. Don’t forget that you are in a building with probably hundreds of people, and the vast majority of them don’t know how to act in an emergency, so there is a high probability of chaos ensuing. To ensure that security protocols are complied with, hotels also train their staff to remain calm and guide the guests in the best possible way.
Network and internet security should also be a concern for hotel management and guests. This is especially true after the recent investment made by nearly every player in the industry to increase their digital space presence – an effort made to compete with online travel agencies and collect valuable hotel data. According to a 2019 report from PwC’s Hotel Outlook, the hospitality industry sector had the second-largest number of cybersecurity breaches – only behind the retail sector.
Here are some of the main threats: – Phishing Phishing is a scamming method that resorts to social engineering techniques to trick people into giving away private information or downloading malware.
It is probably the most common and most dangerous cybersecurity threat in the world, given its high success rate. Phishing is a huge problem for the hotel industry because it is extremely common for hackers to create fake hotel booking websites that look legitimate to obtain private information.
Although industry players are not to blame, this can affect some hotels’ reputation and undermine consumer confidence. – Ransomware Ransomware is a cybercrime that uses malicious software to steal a victim’s data or block access to it until a ransom is paid.
Since a well-known Austrian hotel was the victim of this type of attack in 2017, the whole industry has been actively working to prevent them. Nowadays, hotel workers are educated to act consciously and carefully while using the internet to minimize the risk of downloading malware and give hackers access to the hotel network.
Furthermore, security is monitored almost continuously by specialized companies. – DDoS DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. This cyberattack aims to make a website or online service completely unusable by overwhelming its servers with a huge traffic volume from multiple sources.
This may lead to data loss, reputational damage, and loss of revenue and customers. If a hotel website is unavailable for several hours straight, the financial impact can be huge, and potential customers may book their room elsewhere.