Coronavirus and Meetings
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VisitDallas and the Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District are collaborating to become the first destination to receive the Global Biorisk Advisory Council's Star accreditation. The process will designate Dallas hotels, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, and select city-owned arts and cultural institutions as sanitary and safe.
This initiative -- administered by GBAC, a division of ISSA–The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association -- will serve as the gold standard for facilities to implement cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease–prevention protocols.
"When our residents, visitors, and meeting and convention attendees are able to return and enjoy our great city, we want them to have peace of mind that Dallas is doing everything we can to create the safest and healthiest environment possible," said Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitDallas.
The DTPID is teaming up with VisitDallas to implement and fund the effort for its member hotels within the district. VisitDallas also will sponsor scholarships for facility personnel at city-owned arts and cultural institutions to enroll in the GBAC Online Fundamentals Course, which trains individuals on infection- and contamination-control measures for infectious-disease outbreak situations such as the novel coronavirus.
"We know DTPID hotels are initiating their own individual and brand-led sanitary programs," said Greg White, general manager of the Westin Galleria Dallas and chair of the tourism district. "This third-party accreditation program is designed to provide an additional layer of protection and trust to ensure that hotels and other key city-of-Dallas facilities are in a safe, sanitary and healthy condition for visitors and residents."
To earn GBAC Star accreditation, DTPID hotels, the convention center and other facilities will demonstrate compliance with the program's 20 elements with specific performance and guidance criteria. The program helps facilities accomplish three main goals:
- Establish and maintain a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease–prevention program to control and/or minimize the risks associated with infectious agents for employees, customers, clients, visitors, the community and the environment
- Provide assurance to guests and establish confidence that proper cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease–prevention practices are in place and implemented
- Establish a framework for communicating and raising awareness of best practices as they relate to cleaning, disinfection and infectious-disease prevention
"We applaud VisitDallas and the DTPID for their leadership in pursuing GBAC Star accreditation," said Patty Olinger, executive director of the GBAC. "Through the accreditation process, Dallas will illustrate that it has a comprehensive program in place to ensure a clean, safe and healthy environment for its visitors and residents alike."