Business Travelers and HSIA Users
Dallas — June 14, 2005— Electronic in-room safes, such as those provided by Elsafe, are now topping the list of in-room amenities that corporate travel managers and business travel associations say they are looking for when selecting a hotel to send company or association employees. While high-speed Internet access also is a requirement for many groups, it only makes sense that hotels also provide a safe haven to secure laptop computers and other electronics, experts say.
Tod Fitzpatrick, President of VingCard Elsafe USA observes, “An increasing number of forward-thinking hotels are offering high-speed and even wireless Internet access in their guestrooms. These properties’ managers are fully aware that today’s business travelers take with them all kinds of equipment—from hand-held personal computers to laptops so their owners can work in their rooms. The trouble is, too many hotels aren’t ensuring their guests that they’ll have a safe place to keep their expensive equipment.”
So far, only properties in the hotel industry’s full-service and luxury segments consistently offer in-room safes to their guests—and even in these segments, relatively few hotels, mostly new ones, offer in-room safes large enough to accommodate a laptop computer. Not only are these communications devices expensive unto themselves, but they frequently contain information, both personal and corporate, that is confidential and, thus, often invaluable. Business travelers and corporate travel managers are all too aware of this fact.
Kevin Iwamoto, Chairman and Past President of the National Business Travelers Association has strong opinions on in-room safes—or, more accurately, the general lack of them in U.S. hotels. Here’s what Kevin has to say:
“Hotel companies that cater to the business traveler need to understand that having in-room safes with a standardized security rating is an important feature for the business traveler. I personally always like to patronize hotels who offer an in-room safe for my computer and other valuables.” Elsafe offers the only line of in-room safes with a UL listed formal security rating. The rating also covers the optional internal power outlet, ensuring that it meets all electrical codes.
Kevin brings up a key point about the importance and value of offering in-room safes: “In addition to them being more and more desired by travelers, there’s the question of hotel liability,” he says. “Remember that once a guest checks in to a hotel, his or her belongings become partially the hotel’s responsibility. If appropriate security measures are not provided, the hotel may well be held liable for any loss, and that can cost potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in settlements, insurance and legal fees. Also, the labor cost of increased security staff can be detrimental to the bottom line. By offering a convenient way for guests to secure their valuables in their guestroom, hotels increase not only their guests’ security but their defenses against potential liability.
Ilja Dayles is Travel Manager for Euretco BV, a Netherlands-based company, and is the highly regarded Past President of the European Business Travel Association. Here’s what Ilja has to say on the topic of in-room safes:
“Many North American hotels do not have safes at all. The luxury hotels in North America have safes, but the 3- and 4-star hotels do not always have safes, leaving them out of consideration for our corporate travel.” Ilja sees security as a top priority to his company and staff who travel all over the world, “Having a UL-Listed electronic safe in the room is important to us—and it is especially beneficial if the UL certification also covers a 110v outlet so that our employees can charge their laptops while secured in the safe.”
“When we put out Requests for Proposals to hotels, we ask if the rooms have in-room safes that can hold a laptop computer. Our company and our travelers spend a lot of money on electronic equipment and, if our employees have their laptops stolen, then it hurts us as a company because important records and information are stored in those computers.”
Purchasing Elsafe UL-listed products not only gives hoteliers the added assurance that their guests’ valuables are receiving the maximum level of protection possible, but it also protects a property’s valuable reputation while keeping it protected from liability claims. In addition, the UL listing covers all Elsafe Infinity and Sentinel safes that contain an optional 110V duplex electric outlet which also meets National Electrical Code specifications.
“With Elsafe, guests can rest easy that their valuables are really secure,” Fitzpatrick said. “And, if they are using one of our safes with an internal 110v outlet, they can simultaneously secure and recharge their laptops, camcorders or other electrical devices by plugging into them into a device that they know is safe.”
This in-room amenity is fast becoming a requirement for business travelers, so they can store and simultaneously charge their other valuables and expensive communications devices—and, perhaps more important, the invaluable information they contain. More and more, in-room safes are expected by guests and are becoming a critical factor when considering accommodations.
About VingCard Elsafe
The world leader in hotel security technology, ASSA ABLOY Hospitality has products installed in more than 33,000 properties worldwide, securing in excess of 5.5 million hotel rooms. The ASSA ABLOY Group, a publicly listed company, is a world leader in security and hospitality systems. VingCard provides numerous electronic locking system solutions, including traditional magnetic-stripe and smartcard systems, fully integrated PMS interface software solutions and worldwide service and support. Elsafe provides the only UL-listed (1037) hotel safe series on the market today in keypad and card-based models. Safes that include an internal power outlet to support recharging of laptops and camcorders also are available with a UL listing. Elsafe customers also enjoy the same worldwide service and support. The ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Group is dedicated to the hospitality. For more information on VingCard Elsafe, visit www.vingcard.com or www.elsafe.com.
|Also See:||When Security Counts . . . Count On VingCard to Upgrade Your Electronic-Locking System / June 2005|
|Elsafe Selected by Accor as its Sole Approved Provider of In-Room Safes / April 2005|
|Elsafe Asks: Are Your In-Room Safes REALLY Safe? / November 2004|
|Ken Brown Joins VingCard Elsafe As SVP Marketing and Sales, North America / November 2004|
|Four Cornerstones Ensure Sound Principles and Fair Business Practices For ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Brands (Elsafe, Timelox, VingCard and INHOVA) / May 2003|
|Elsafe Renews Global Agreement with Starwood Hotels & Resorts to Supply In-Room Safes / March 2003|
|Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan Upgrades to VingCard Locking System to Enhance Guest Security and Convenience / March 2003|
|Elsafe Selected to Provide In-room Safes to Accor Hotels Worldwide / Dec 2002|