NEW YORK CITY—In an increasingly globalized world and as more people travel, hotel security issues have become paramount. Security measures and the liability that can result of a security failure is something that not only hotel management needs to worry about, but also owners, investors and insurers alike.

Those were some of the points Thomas Ferguson, practice leader, Casualty Risk Consulting of AIG Property Casualty—a Thought Leader—stressed in a special video interview.

Up until a few decades ago, hotel security issues were not a focal point in the industry, explains Ferguson. It was the 1974 assault of singer Connie Francis in her hotel room—after which she successfully sued the hotel chain for failing to provide adequate security—that put the issue on the radar screen and led to a reform in hotel security.

“This is one of the most global industries that caters to the public, and guests come into hotels expecting a certain level of care and security,” he tells editor-in-chief Sule Aygoren.

During the interview, Ferguson also brought up the following points:

  • Hotel security liability transcends every part of the lodging industry spectrum, from owners and managers to onsite personnel and security staff.
  • Providing a comfortable space for guests while also delivering a sense of reasonable security is a constant, and difficult, balancing act for hotel operators.
  • One of the biggest areas of risk for lodging properties is pool-related incidents.
  • Many new technological tools and practices, such as high-tech key cards and upgraded computer systems, are being adopted throughout the industry.

At the end of the day, though, it's all about people. At the heart of any security measure is the training and trust levels of the people who staff the hotel.

If you'd like to learn more about hotel security liability after viewing this video, you can view AIG's webinar, Current Trends in Hotel Security, and download their white paper with Advisen, "A Survey of the Current State of Hotel Security.”


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Sule Aygoren

Aygoren oversees the editorial direction and content for ALM’s Real Estate Media Group, including Real Estate Forum and In her tenure with ALM, she’s held roles of increasing responsibility, including Managing Editor. Aygoren has received several awards for her coverage including Best Trade Magazine Report from the National Association of Real Estate Editors and the James D. Carper Award for Young Journalists. Under her direction, Forum has received four national NAREE awards for Best Commercial Real Estate Trade Magazine.