ALH Biosafety

Adriatic Luxury Hotels obtain Biosafety Management System certification

Aug. 10 2021

Adriatic Luxury Hotels is a luxury hotel group with 10 hotels and 2 luxury villas in Croatia along the Adriatic Sea. The group recently became the first company in the world to obtain Biosafety Certification, a standard that helps organizations implement structured protocols to mitigate the risk of infection in workers and customers. We talk to Adriatic Luxury Hotels CEO David Taylor about why the group chose to commit to certification.

What makes Adriatic Luxury Hotels unique?

Adriatic Luxury Hotels operates ten hotels and two luxury villas in Croatia, mainly in Dubrovnik. Our collection includes over 3,000 beds and we employ around 1,300 employees at the peak of the season. We are well known as a luxury brand and we are the largest employer in the city.

We are particularly proud of the quality of our service. In 2019, we had a record-breaking year with a guest satisfaction score for the portfolio of 92.0%. In 2020, we did even better with a score of 92.7%.  A key reason for our excellent scores comes down to our employees. They are fundamental to our success, and we dedicate a lot of resources towards employee training and development to help their continual development.

We are also very proud that our employees choose to stay with us. Our average employee is 45 years old and has worked for the group for 14 years. This level of experience and length of service is unusual in the hotel industry but leads to a much more consistent and successful application of quality standards over time.

Why did you want to get Biosafety Management System Certification?

The global pandemic last year presented us with the biggest challenge of our careers, but we saw it as an opportunity to update our training, better prepare ourselves, and stretch to outperform everyone else.  

Immediately after COVID-19 started, we began working towards Bureau Veritas’ “SafeGuard” standard to systematically ensure that all health, safety, and hygiene controls were in place for guests and employees. Thanks in part to scrupulous implementation and audits, we have maintained the highest standards of safety in our hotels.

However, we wanted to go even further towards mitigating risk by using a management system approach. That’s when we started discussions with Bureau Veritas about Biosafety Certification.

We liked that the certification scheme provides a comprehensive, structured way to minimize the risk of contamination and better prepare for the possibility of future infection risks. It also helps us show our commitment to creating a safe environment for our staff and guests and supports continuous improvement through ongoing internal audits and inspections.

For us, this was not about being able to market a safety label. Instead, we wanted to ensure we made the behavioral changes within our business that would put us in a good position to respond if an outbreak occurred.

We recently concluded our first Biosafety Management System audit, and we can see the benefits to our staff and guests already. It has helped everyone understand why these health and hygiene measures are so important. That has created a culture where our employees go the extra mile to make sure everyone is safe.

David Taylor ALH
David
Taylor

CEO

Adriatic Luxury Hotels

For us, Biosafety Certification was not about being able to market a safety label. Instead, we wanted to ensure we made the behavioral changes within our business that would put us in a good position to respond if an outbreak occurred.

 

Why is a management system useful for addressing health risks?

Management systems encourage accountability within an organization. A management system is not a rulebook but a living way of working. It allows us to constantly evaluate and improve how we operate across the business and develop a transparent, open culture. We also strive to be conscious of how our guests’ needs are changing and adapt our management systems accordingly.

In addition to Biosafety Certification, we work with Bureau Veritas to implement and operate a host of other management systems, including Environmental Management, Quality, Information Security, Energy, Food Safety, and Health & Safety.

It is unusual for a multi site hotel company to be certified with this wide range of comprehensive management systems and standards.  Implementing and constantly measuring ourselves against these standards is not easy, but we think it is worth the investment, commitment, discipline, time and effort to seek continual improvement.  Our systems don’t sit in a file on a shelf, they are used every day, in every department, and are continually evaluated and improved.

Why did you decide to work with Bureau Veritas?

We really appreciate the fact that Bureau Veritas is a world leader and has global cross-industry experience but also a local presence which is constructive and helps us to get things done. We wanted to know we were working with a certification body that could continue supporting and challenging us to improve over time.

My view 18-months into our partnership with Bureau Veritas is that we made the right decision. Since we started, we have created a lot of momentum in terms of staff assessments and training and we have witnessed the confidence in our employees grow over time, especially those who are constantly interacting with guests and visitors. Ultimately, guests will only come back and stay with us again if they have a great experience. We want to be the best at creating unique experiences and inspiring times. Our approach to management systems with Bureau Veritas helps us to achieve excellence and constant commitment to the sustainable growth of our company, team, community, and environment. This is at the heart of everything that we do.

Becoming the world’s first company to achieve the Bureau Veritas Biosafety Management System took a lot of resilience and commitment to get right. This is not a management system that companies could have achieved on their own. We devoted a lot of time across the company to work in partnership with Bureau Veritas constantly challenging each other. I believe all guests will expect this standard of meticulous care and attention. The pandemic has forced a change, but in this case, we believe it to be a positive change.