The hotel giants want group business back, and Marriott International is rolling out new options for planners to reassure meeting attendees that in-person gathering can be safe again. As part of its Connect with Confidence program, Marriott will be offering new health protocol options at certain of its brands beginning in January—including COVID-19 testing before and during an event.

The first Marriott brand to provide these protocols for meetings and events are Gaylord Hotels and Resorts in Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and Colorado. In the weeks that follow, the company said, the health protocols are expected to be available at certain other Marriott-branded hotels throughout the United States.

Planners can consider several offerings from Marriott, including the following.

  • Self-administered COVID-19 tests taken by the guest prior to travel
  • COVID-19 testing administered by a third-party testing provider on site at the hotel
  • Daily and/or prearrival health screening questions via a dedicated mobile application
  • Daily temperature checks to enter the event area

“These new health protocols provide options for meeting professionals as they plan and host meetings, conferences, and events,” said Tammy Routh, senior vice president of the Global Sales Organization for Marriott. “Building upon the work of our Global Cleanliness Council, we engaged industry-leading experts and through a thorough review process, identified third-party providers capable of offering the health protocols that meeting professionals want and need for future events.”

In August, Marriott announced digital content and best practices to help meeting professionals execute future events. In November, the first in a global series of hybrid virtual and in-person events was held in Virginia, demonstrating how to Connect with Confidence.

“The event showcased Marriott’s reimagined processes and meetings spaces, while reinforcing the company’s commitment to help meeting professionals in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a press release.