Hyatt Hotels Welcome Guests with Help from GBAC® STAR Facility Accreditation Program Opportunity


When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, hotels worldwide immediately faced devastating losses. Hyatt had to act quickly to focus on the safety of guests and colleagues in more than 975 Hyatt hotels across 18 different brands around the world. Several properties temporarily suspended operations as Hyatt sought to gain a better understanding of the virus and how to enhance cleanliness and operational protocols in order to provide guests with confidence and care while traveling.

“Many lives have been affected in the industry and COVID-19’s effects will continue well into the future,” said Tim Obert, Hyatt’s vice president for operations for the Americas. “This pandemic has forced the industry to think differently about what safety and wellbeing looks like now and going forward.”
Hyatt determined that completing an accreditation program offered by an objective third party with related expertise would offer insights into best practices and demonstrate Hyatt’s commitment to guest and colleague peace of mind and wellbeing.


With a focus on providing consistent cleaning, disinfection, and infection prevention measures across hundreds of properties, Hyatt turned to the GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation program from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA. To achieve GBAC STAR accreditation, facilities submit applications demonstrating compliance with 20 key program elements, including personal protective equipment, personnel training, and emergency response. GBAC’s team of industry experts review the submissions and accredited facilities re-apply for accreditation annually.

As part of Hyatt’s Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment, all Hyatt hotels pledged to achieve GBAC STAR to reinforce existing procedures with advanced cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. “It was important to us that our guests, customers, and members can trust a Hyatt hotel, no matter where they are in the world,” Obert added. “The pandemic is a global crisis, and all of our properties had to participate to ensure a consistent, global response.” Taking guest and colleague comfort even further, Hyatt added and expanded digital amenities such as mobile check-in and digital key solutions to offer a more contactless experience.

Hyatt’s commitment also required each hotel to appoint a trained Hygiene and Wellbeing Leader or team to oversee the new protocols and trainings. “Consistency is important when implementing a program worldwide,” Obert explained. “The Hygiene and Wellbeing Leaders head up all of the hygiene-related training in the hotel. They are focused on ensuring that the efforts are ongoing and consistent with GBAC STAR accreditation and provide for long term sustainability of the program.”

Hyatt coupled its pursuit of GBAC STAR with the GBAC Fundamentals Online course, which teaches cleaning professionals to prepare for, respond to, and recover from biohazards in the workplace. “Our collaboration with GBAC has been incredibly collaborative and supportive,” noted Obert. “The hotels that have achieved accreditation thus far have reported that the GBAC support team provided excellent guidance and support throughout the accreditation process.”


Ninety-five percent of Hyatt hotels worldwide have resumed operations with bolstered cleaning and disinfection procedures, communication practices, and infectious disease prevention protocols in place, which has also allowed them to host successful events of various sizes.

Through accreditation, Hyatt hotels have realized the following benefits:

  • Increased communication of cleanliness efforts. On, each accredited hotel displays an accreditation seal provided by GBAC, providing guests with comfort and confidence in their stay before they even arrive on property. Additionally, Hyatt standardized signage and communication in public hotel spaces and guest rooms to demonstrate the cleaning and other procedures and safeguards in place, in compliance with GBAC guidelines.
  • Improved cleaning and safety procedures. GBAC STAR accreditation has helped Hyatt colleagues view cleanliness through a new perspective and continually seek out opportunities for improvement. Properties have also implemented new protocols for hosting events.

    Hotels that have hosted several events since resuming operations noted the key to success was thorough communication to prepare guests ahead of arrival. Properties worked with event hosts to reinforce their message of cleanliness and guest expectations, including producing a “Know Before You Go” letter.

  • Enhanced employee morale. Hyatt colleagues not only feel safer to return to work, but also feel a new sense of pride and ownership over the care and cleanliness of the hotel. The accreditation and training processes have also brought teams closer together in pursuit of a shared goal. Beyond information sharing at individual properties, hotels have also shared lessons learned with each other, creating more robust collaboration than Hyatt initially expected when pursuing GBAC STAR.

“We are proud to have implemented the GBAC STAR accreditation program for Hyatt hotels globally,” said Obert. “We thank GBAC for all its support and hope that others come to know and understand how important and impactful this program has been.”