A lot of things have transitioned in the hospitality industry in the last 20 years. For instance, today we are dependent on hotels having free wi-fi included with our room, but 20 years ago, this wasn’t an amenity offered by hotels. Quite a few things have changed in the hotel industry since the 90’s, but a lot has also shifted more recently with the upheaval in our way of life due to Covid. In the midst of all this change, one thing has remained the same for hotels…
Let’s talk through a few of the changes in the hotel industry since the pandemic.
- Hotels are charging higher rates than were charged prior to and during Covid. With lower occupancy rates during the pandemic, hotels have experienced significant financial losses leading to job losses and reduced services. To implement new safety measures and sanitation protocols that were required to continue operating during the pandemic, hotels have had to invest in new equipment and supplies which has increased operating costs and thus increased rates.
- With remote work and other lifestyle changes, there has been a shift in demand for
- different types of hotel accommodations. Properties that offer more space and outdoor activities may be more desirable now. Some hotels have started offering remote work facilities to cater to the growing demand for flexible workspaces.
- Many hotels have modified their policies for booking, cancellation, and Loyalty Member deposits. Coping with the uncertainty of the pandemic left hotels needing to change cancellation policies. These modified policies can be confusing and frustrating for guests who need to cancel or reschedule planned trips.
- Contactless check-in and check-out have been introduced at many hospitality properties to minimize person-to-person contact and offer guests a quick, easy way to check in and out.
- Some hotels have reduced their staffing levels which has resulted in job losses and reduced services for guests. This change can be noticed especially in hotel repairs and cleaning. As a result, bed bug inspection and prevention has also been deprioritized.
- Many hotels have reduced or eliminated certain amenities and services. This change can be disappointing for guests who are used to these perks like pens and notepads, breakfast
- items, fresh cookies at check-in, etc.
- Hotels have improved their ventilation systems to increase the flow of fresh air and reduce the risk of airborne transmission.
Some of the changes that have been made to hotels have been welcomed by guests and some have come with frustration and dissatisfaction. It is difficult to balance the need for change and increased cost of goods and services with the need for happy guests. Hotels may be experiencing more negative reviews and complaints due to some of the recent changes.
The one constant in the hospitality industry… bed bugs.
One thing that has consistently invited negative reviews and unhappy guests is the one thing
that hasn’t changed in the last 20 years… bed bugs. Bed bugs have always been present with travelers and therefore, present at hotels. While hotels are common places for bed bugs to thrive due to the high volume of guests coming and going, the presence of bed bugs in a hotel can vary depending on many factors like regularity of bed bug inspections, the quality of pest management practices, the volume of guests, and the frequency of travel to and from areas with known bed bug problems.
Bed bug prevention measures for hotels.
Hotels can take important measures to prevent bed bugs from becoming a serious problem, such as, regular inspections, training staff to recognize signs of bed bugs, and implementing proactive measures like encasing mattresses and box springs in bed bug proof covers. It is vital that these measures don’t become deprioritized even with reduced staff and budget cuts. However, even with these preventative measures, bed bugs can still be introduced into a hotel through guests, their luggage, or even second-hand furniture. It is important for hotels to remain vigilant in their efforts to prevent and control bed bugs as they can damage a hotel’s reputation and lead to costly lawsuits if not addressed promptly and effectively. If a bed bug infestation does occur, hotels should take swift action to eradicate the infestation and compensate affected guests to minimize the risk of litigation.
Be prepared for bed bug infestations.
One of the best ways to be prepared to immediately care for a bed bug infestation is to acquire your own bed bug heat system. With a bed bug heater, you will no longer have to wait for treatment. You will not have the concern of chemicals sprayed in guest rooms. Additionally, rooms will be immediately available for use after heat treatment as opposed to being out of service for weeks at a time due to chemical treatment.
As the hotel industry begins to find a renewed strength, hotels will have to balance what they choose to offer and not offer to their guests. There are several directions that hotels can take to improve the guest experience and make their hotel better.
- One of the most important things a hotel can do is to enhance customer service. Providing excellent friendly customer service and training for your hotel staff are key factors in making your hotel better.
- Another area important to place high on the priority list is to focus on cleanliness. A clean and well-maintained hotel is important for guest satisfaction. Regular cleaning and maintenance of rooms, public areas, and facilities can improve the guest experience. Make sure your hotel has implemented sustainability practices.
- Be sure regular bed bug and pest inspections are done in each room on a consistent basis. Finding bed bug problems and fixing them prior to a guest spotting them is a high priority.
- Embracing technology and improving amenities are very important to customers. It’s always surprising how the little things a hotel provides show the customers how important they are to your hotel.
- Lastly, make sure you gather feedback and act on it. It’s important for hotels to listen to guest feedback and take action on any areas that need improvement. Regular surveys and reviews can help hotels identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes to enhance the guest experience.
Every traveler wants to have a safe, clean, restful, bed bug free night’s stay when they visit your hotel.