In an effort to rebuild the public’s trust and attract hotel guests who are worried about hygiene, social distancing, and safety at the top of their concerns, Hotel Sogo pioneered anti-covid technologies based on research and benchmarking from best practices around the world.
The worldwide pandemic the country is continuously experiencing resulted in millions of lives lost and massive unemployment. The crisis has likewise destroyed the public’s trust whenever their health safety is at stake.
As quarantine policies restricting movements of the population were lifted, the majority of the people, as well as businesses, started to go back to a sense of normalcy, the people’s continuing distrust, affects various businesses, including the hospitality industry.
To regain the public’s trust, at the top of Hotel Sogo’s priority is to reduce touchpoints and intensify no-contact fixtures. Based on pre-pandemic research carried out by Hotel Sogo, data shows that guests had a minimum of 59 Touch Points (TPs) during a typical hotel stay. Due to new protocols that include contact-less fixtures, TPs have been reduced by 40.7% with the goal to achieve a reduction of 66.1% with more advanced technology centered on cellphone use.
At the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, Sogo was the first hotel to use UVC (254nm) to fight Covid-19. Taking the cue from hospitals abroad, remote-controlled carts have been deployed for room disinfection. Compartments for utensils, key cards, and cash were also fitted with UVC LEDs but kept away from personnel since 254 nm UVCs, while great for killing viruses that may harm the skin and eyes.
Hotel Sogo also expanded UVC disinfection for its room air conditioning units. All room ACs are fitted with specially manufactured UVC LEDs. Through germicidal irradiation, the UVC light attacks the DNA/DNR of micro-organisms, killing bacteria and viruses, and preventing their spread. As it is turned on with the aircon, room air is always sterilized each time it passes through the unit, ensuring the best possible room air quality for our guests.
FAR UVC disinfection was also extended at elevator lobbies. After extensive research, Sogo has acquired and tested the FAR UVC 222 nm lamps that effectively kill viruses while being harmless to humans. Just recently (2020 Q4) produced commercially, it is quite expensive and is sold by only a few manufacturers abroad. Sogo is the first hotel to install these revolutionary excimer lamps in all its elevator lobbies.
In its lobbies and hallways, ventilation ACR Air Change Rate is doubled. The ACR or the number of times the air is replaced for all general spaces is set at ≥ 4 per hour by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers). Sogo is doubling its current ACRs for intensified inflow of covid-free fresh air to accelerate indoor air replacement.
Automatic thermal scan controlled entry doors were installed in most branches. Guests on their own, get scanned before entry, and if within the safe temperature limit, main doors will open automatically without the need for any contact.
Each branch has an Anti-Covid Team that regularly swabs high touch point surfaces that pass through ATP Fluorescence Detectors to verify microbial presence and effectivity of the new protocols. Anti-microbial coatings were applied on furnishings, fixtures & touchpoints. Widely used in hospitals and mass transports in China, Hong Kong, and Japan, these Polymer coatings are formed after spraying millions of nano-capsules with contact killing and anti-adhesion features that last for weeks. It effectively kills bacteria and viruses, including H1N1 and Covid. Sogo applies these overall furnishings and touchpoints.
To further sanitize indoor air, Sogo installed air-purifying equipment having several levels of filters: Pre-filter, Activated Carbon, HEPA (H11), with built-in Cold Catalysts, Ion Generators and UVC lights that eliminate allergens and pollutants such as dust, pollen, odor, bacteria, viruses, and even reduces carbon dioxide levels.
Covid sniffer dogs are being utilized for regular covid screening of employees. Patterned after Dubai and Helsinki Airports where sniffer dogs screen passengers and report a > 94% accuracy rate with dogs detecting the virus days before symptoms even start. Sogo has tied up with a leading K9 company, to have specially-trained Covid sniffer dogs regularly screen its personnel for Covid.
To date, Hotel Sogo continues to invest and rely heavily on research-proven technologies that alter the spread of Covid19 to assure the safety of its guests. The hotel also continues to accept front liners and essential workers across all Hotel Sogo branches, and can also accommodate those who prefer a long-term stay for work purposes.
Hotel Sogo is also ramping up its effort in helping the country’s indigent communities through Sogo Cares, the hotel’s Corporate Social Responsibility program. Continuously, Sogo provides basic necessities, such as food and water to indigent communities. Recently, it donated food packs with linens and towels to some fire victims in Manila; essential needs such as bottled waters, linens, pillows, surgical masks, pillowcases, and mattresses to the Philippine General Hospital with the help of AFP and donated in different community pantries in Bulacan and Quezon City.
For more information about Hotel Sogo, check out https://www.hotelsogo.com.