August 05, 2020
By Cvent Guest

There are a few phrases that will forever define the COVID-19 global pandemic: social distancing, flattening the curve, shelter in place and, now, “the new normal.” As repetitive as these words have become, there’s no denying that we live in a new time with new rules. The Dallas hospitality community stepped up and implemented standardized safety protocols for hotels, the convention center and city venues, adding some certainty to very uncertain times.

In May, VisitDallas and the Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District (DTPID) announced a collaborative initiative to lead the nation by becoming the first destination to receive Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation designating Dallas hotels, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas (KBHCCD), and selected city-owned arts and cultural institutions as sanitary and safe.

In July, The Westin Galleria Dallas announced that it is officially the very first hotel in Dallas to have achieved GBAC STAR accreditation. Under the guidance of GBAC, The Westin Galleria Dallas has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention in its hotel facilities. Currently more than 20 additional hotels, both Dallas airports and the KBHCCD are well on their way to earning accreditation.

“When visitors, meeting attendees and business travelers return to 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 initiative – administered by a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association – is the gold standard for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention protocols. Successful GBAC STAR facilities demonstrate that correct work practices, procedures and systems are in place to prepare, respond to, and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.

The comprehensive program covers everything from SOPs and employee health to cleaning supplies and smart technology solutions. From sanitization stations to contact-free staff encounters, Dallas hotels are leading the nation in safety procedures and protocols.

“We know many Dallas hotels have their own individual and brand-led sanitary programs,” said Greg White, Chair of the DTPID and General Manager of the Westin Galleria Dallas. “This third-party accreditation program provides an extra layer of protection and trust to ensure that hotels and other key city facilities are in a safe, sanitary and healthy condition.”

The GBAC STAR program enables facilities to accomplish three main goals: 

  1. Establish and maintain a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to control and/or minimize the risk associated with infectious agents such as SARS-CoV-2 for employees, customers, clients, visitors, the community, and the environment.
  2. Provide assurance to guests and establish confidence that proper cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention work practices are in place and implemented.
  3. Establish a framework for communication and raising awareness of best practices as they relate to cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention.

The city’s entire hospitality community is working hard to ensure that Dallas is a certifiably safe place to travel for work and fun. 

“We applaud VisitDallas and the DTPID for their leadership in pursuing GBAC STAR accreditation,” said GBAC Executive Director Patty Olinger. “Through the accreditation process, Dallas illustrates that it has a comprehensive program in place to ensure a clean, safe, and healthy environment for all its visitors.”

Join our session, Creating Welcome, Safe & Clean Environments on Wednesday, August 26th at 2:45 PM during Cvent CONNECT Virtual. 


Dallas is the perfect place for your next event. Get here and back with two international airports, choose from 90,000+ hotel rooms, ranging from economy to luxury, and enjoy a wide range of entertainment - from exciting pro sports to the museums and theaters of the country’s largest urban Arts District. And if you’re hungry, you’ll be happy to know we’re one of America’s most critically-acclaimed food cities, not to mention the home of the Margarita Mile - a refreshing way to wind down after a day exploring our city. Whether it’s an event for 20 or a convention for 20,000, you’ll love what you find in Dallas. Learn more at

Cvent Guest

Cvent is a market-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider with more than 4,000 employees, ~21,000 customers, and 200,000 users worldwide.

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