Concerned About Your Safety? Discover the Unexpected Measures Travel Companies Are Taking | SmartTechGamer

When leasing an apartment through Tabas by Blueground in São Paulo, expect a thorough screening process. Initially, you’ll be required to complete forms detailing your home address and personal information. Following that, you’ll need to provide the company with an image of your passport, along with a selfie featuring both you and your passport.

Surprising as it may seem, yes, a selfie is part of the protocol.

Leonardo Morgatto, CEO of Tabas by Blueground, a company specializing in furnished rentals, clarifies, “We need to ensure it’s truly you.” Morgatto emphasizes that the company conducts background checks to ascertain that tenants pose no security risks. This isn’t solely for the benefit of apartment owners seeking well-behaved guests; it also reassures other residents that they’re in a secure environment.

In 2024, Tabas by Blueground’s security measures represent a growing focus on safety within the travel sector, notably in lodging. Visitor safety has emerged as a paramount concern, prompting hotels and rental companies to respond with a range of initiatives, including comprehensive security protocols and the adoption of digital locking systems.

The Reasons Behind Travelers’ Safety Concerns in 2024

The heightened concern for safety among travelers in 2024 has become increasingly apparent. According to the latest Global Rescue Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey, civil unrest and terrorism have emerged as the primary apprehensions, surpassing worries about accidents or injuries for the first time. This shift reflects a significant change in travelers’ attitudes.

Dan Richards, CEO of The Global Rescue Companies, notes, “We’re observing a notable uptick in traveler apprehension globally.” Factors such as the Middle East conflict, recent air travel incidents, and overall global instability have contributed to escalating fears among travelers, as experts suggest.

This growing concern has led to an expansion of security measures by travel companies, including Tabas by Blueground. “They want assurance that we’re leasing to thoroughly vetted clients,” explains Morgatto. Particularly in locations like Brazil, security measures are paramount. In cities like São Paulo, high walls enclose apartments, businesses, and parks, though many neighborhoods remain safe for pedestrians. However, wandering into less tourist-friendly areas poses risks.

Morgatto highlights that approximately 15% of his clientele consists of international visitors, who seek peace of mind when exploring South America’s largest city. Measures such as passport selfies, detailed forms, and onsite security personnel contribute to ensuring visitor safety. Implementing the selfie requirement has notably reduced instances of renters using fraudulent passport photos, resulting in a decrease in complaints regarding guest behavior.

“In recent times,” Morgatto adds, “our complaint rate has significantly decreased.”

Ensuring Hotel Safety: Key Factors to Consider

In today’s world, determining the safety of a hotel involves more than just examining its physical infrastructure. With advancements in technology and changing standards, travelers now expect a range of security features to guarantee their peace of mind.

According to industry expert Amelia Thompson, hotels are increasingly implementing sophisticated measures such as biometric access control and advanced surveillance systems with facial recognition capabilities.

So, what should you look for as a minimum standard?

  1. Access Control: Utilizing electronic keys or fobs to restrict access to guest rooms and floors is crucial for preventing unauthorized entry.
  2. Enhanced Guest Screening: Measures like passport selfies and criminal background checks are becoming commonplace, especially in areas with heightened security concerns.
  3. Surveillance Cameras: Strategically positioned security cameras in common areas like lobbies, corridors, and parking lots can act as a deterrent to criminal activity.
  4. Key-Controlled Elevators: Elevators should only grant access to guests for the floor on which their room is located, ensuring enhanced security.
  5. On-Site Staff: A vigilant and well-trained staff, available 24/7, contributes significantly to guest safety. Look for properties with a front desk, concierge, or security personnel.
  6. Safe Deposit Boxes: Inquire about the availability of safe deposit boxes at the front desk or in the room, especially if you need to store valuables. Some hotels may charge for this service.

In addition to these visible security measures, hotels need to be adaptable and sensitive to guests’ preferences, particularly when dealing with high-net-worth individuals. Colin Hannan of Proven Partners emphasizes the importance of flexibility, even offering the option to disable security cameras in ultra-luxury villas to respect guests’ privacy.

Ultimately, whether you’re a discerning traveler or simply prioritizing safety, thorough research and consideration of security features, including the possibility of providing a passport selfie, are essential steps before making a reservation.

What Security Measures Are Travel Companies Implementing?

The impetus to enhance safety measures took root during the pandemic when health concerns prompted many travelers to remain at home. Now, safety considerations are integral to virtually every travel itinerary.

1. Introduction of Digital Keys:
Addressing the pressing safety concerns of travelers in 2024, Syed Lateef, CEO of a Chicago-based short-term rental and hotel services company, advocates for the adoption of digital room keys. “Guests prefer the convenience of accessing their rooms using their smartphones or other digital devices,” he explains. “Digital keys offer enhanced security, as they can be deactivated if lost or stolen.”

2. Provision of Comprehensive Safety Information:
Platforms like RatePunk are responding to the demand for actionable security information from hotel guests. Justin Albertynas, CEO of RatePunk, acknowledges the significance of travelers researching safety-related aspects before booking accommodations in unfamiliar cities. Consequently, RatePunk has introduced a new “safety around property” feature, offering an overall safety index and crime index specific to the property. This feature has garnered significant traction among website visitors.

RatePunk derives its security data from Numbeo, a crowdsourced provider of quality-of-life information, as well as from global distribution systems and hotel Google reviews.

  1. Evolution of Travel Advisors into Security Consultants:

A notable trend is the transformation of travel advisors into security experts. Christopher Bellot, a travel advisor with OvationNetwork, attests to receiving more requests from clients seeking safe accommodations. Specifically, clients prioritize features such as key-controlled hotel elevators restricted to guests only.

“This is especially crucial for high-net-worth individuals and families traveling with children,” explains Bellot. Travel advisors collaborate with hotels and their security teams to curate suites that offer both convenience and security. This often involves suites with double entrances, featuring a lockable foyer to restrict physical access and visibility of the entry door by staff and other guests.

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