As consumers, we take for granted that our brief respite in a hotel is guaranteed to be safe and free from any danger or threat. However, a look back at the 2008 attack at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai would quickly remind us that the threat of terrorist attacks is real.
In fact, some terrorism experts believe that terrorists see hotels and resorts as easy targets because of their scale, room privacy, and ease of public access. Bob Howell — Director And Senior Advisor Of Critical Operations, Global Assistance, and Response for global risk management company WorldAware — also urged in an interview with the Business Travel News that ‘terrorist attacks on hotels will increase and become more sophisticated.’
The EVA initiative from the Singapore government
With terror threats not abating, world governments are stepping in to guide hotels to develop more fool-proof measures with the help of technology. In Singapore, the government is working with vendors such as GTRIIP to launch the E-Visitor Authentication (EVA) system, which allows hotels to verify their guests’ stay validity faster.
Hotel guests simply have to scan their passport using their own mobile devices to auto-populate an e-registration card, which would be instantly verified with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Singapore. They can also authenticate their identities using facial recognition technology by just taking a selfie. The new system not only reduces human error but also helps to ease up the laborious process for hotels to manually verify guests’ identities and travel documents, allowing for a more seamless check-in experience.
Taking a proactive stance on security
In addition to policy measures, it is also critical for hotels to invest in innovative and technological solutions to mitigate risks within their property. For example, hotels can better detect, verify and track the identity of hotel guests across the entire venue more accurately by integrating the EVA system with the latest artificial intelligence and machine-learning technology provided by GTRIIP. Coupling the two systems can help hotels reinforce their verification loop and fight off terrorism threats.
By being more proactive, rather than reactive, nations and destinations are able to bounce back from attacks quicker than before. Comparing between the years, occupancy levels in New York took 34 months to recover after the 9/11 attack, while Madrid took 12 months from the 2003 train bombing and London nine months from the 2005 attack.
Global access is increasingly becoming a reality and hotels can no longer depend on previous security standards and staff-based protocols to remain safe and secure.
To explore how to enhance your security while delivering frictionless service with the GTRIIP and EVA systems, drop us your details via the link below and let’s get the conversation going.