Hotel Security: India Hotel Attacks – Lessons Learned features hotel security in the aftermath of the hotel attacks in India. What will it take to improve hotel security?

TOPIC:  US Hotel Security. Are You Safe? If you’re planning a vacation or any type of travel that involves a hotel, don’t miss my interview with the Rittenhouse Hotel Vice President and General Manager, David G. Benton.

Rittenhouse HotelGuest: David G. Benton, Vice President and General Manager of Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Hotel & Condominium Residences – considered one of the finest small hotels in the world. The Rittenhouse Hotel has better security than the majority of small hotels. Find out why.

Mr. Benton earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration. He’s held executive hotel positions in the United States, England and Mexico and serves on numerous corporate and non-profit boards, including the Hero Scholarship Fund.

DATE: December 3, 2008 at 5:00 PM EST

Please read the overview that we posted prior to the program. David G. Benton provides invaluable insight on these critical questions and issues. Our Streaming Replay follows.

Hotels have an obligation to protect their guests. Can hotels be designed or redesigned to take security considerations into account? Full time security teams may not be able to stop an attack, but they could delay it long enough to lock up guest records, warn their guests and employees and alert authorities. How can terrorist activity be better recorded (hidden cameras)?

How can guests be warned that an attack is in progress? Security concerns can lead to escalating hotel stay costs. Should the guest pay a security fee? The Taj Mahal and Oberoi Trident attacks also have important implications for the protection and training of hotel employees, as well as hotel ties with external security forces.

Hotels should make blueprints available to external security forces. The question is: When? Before or during an attack? Security commando forces worldwide should be trained in “hotel terrorism,” which means there should be secure landing facilities on hotel roofs wherever possible.

What should hotels do about installing weapons and explosive detectors? According to BBC reports, “Commandos who fought early pitched battles with the gunmen in the two luxury hotels, the Taj Mahal and Oberoi Trident, say that the lithe attackers moved quickly from room to room and climbed up and down floors to throw them off tracks. The gunmen set fire to curtains and threw grenades to distract the commandos, according to federal commando chief JK Dutt.”

Hotel employees should be trained to detect weapons, explosives and terrorist scouts who try to case hotels months prior to an attack. If approached with security questions about the hotel, employees must report such inquiries, but to whom? What about multiple exits and high security suites?

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To your empowerment!

Dr. Joyce Starr

More about the Rittenhouse Hotel & Condominium Residences:

Named one of the Worlds Best Places to Stay.” -Condé Nast Traveler

* July 2008 – Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards
* January 2008 Conde Nast Gold List
* January 2008 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Hotels
* January 2008 The Forbes Traveler 400