The Worsening Hotel/Bed Bug Landscape is an Opportunity for Pest Management Professionals
Bed bugs pose a serious problem for hoteliers, impacting the two key drivers for hotel success: guest satisfaction and profitability. The cost of bed bug treatment, loss of revenue from rooms withdrawn for treatment, compensation paid to affected guests and money spent defending lawsuits all immediately subtract from a hotel’s bottom line.
Less obvious, but equally important, is the impact an unhappy guest’s negative review on social media can have on a hotel’s profitability. The power of social media is undeniable, and the financial impact is huge. According to a University of Kentucky study “Bed Bugs ‘Bite’ the Wallet of Hotel Owners,” a single posting about bed bugs impacted the demand for the hotel so negatively that room prices dropped by $38 a night per room for business travelers and $23 per room for leisure travelers.
Preventing bed bug incidents reduces direct expenses for the hotelier while increasing hotel revenues. It also creates an opportunity for pest management professionals (PMPs) looking to expand the bed bug services they offer.
The Legal Impact of Bed Bugs a ‘Stark Reality’
Beyond lost hotel revenues, the potential for lawsuits when it comes to a bed bug infestation is a stark reality. The present landscape of bed bugs is worsening, and responding reactively is simply not enough to make a difference, says Jeffrey Lipman, attorney-at-law. Lipman is a Polk County (Iowa) Magistrate Judge and an experienced consumer class action bed bug litigator.
“Reactive-based measures alone, however implemented, for effective bed bug management and control is an ancient and ineffective way of dealing with bed bugs in hotels,” he says, “and will assuredly create legal peril for hotel property owners.”
The Power of Prevention – and How to Monetize It
The Benjamin Franklin quote “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” speaks to the power of preventive behavior. PMPs should direct their hospitality clients to consider reputational impact, loss of rooms out-of-service, guest compensation, in addition to the direct operational costs of remediation in any cost/benefit analysis. For hotels, the risk of bed bug introductions from a highly transient customer base, plus strong industry competition makes facility-wide prevention a must.
Hoteliers will always consider the impact on profits as they weigh the risk versus reward of spending money on bed bugs. By using a preventive program supported by renowned national research entomologists and leading Top 100 Pest Management Professionals, PMPs can establish a reputation as great hotel partners and earn regular recurring revenue. PMPs instituting preventive programs enjoy greater revenues than those simply treating bed bug occurrences.
“PMPs can establish a reputation as great hotel partners AND earn regular recurring revenue.”
— Allergy Technologies President Joseph Latino
Key to the success of any preventive program for hotels: ActiveGuard Mattress Liners. ActiveGuard Mattress Liners prove that not all product protection is created equal.
“… Hoteliers today are much more sophisticated in the tools and programs available in fighting bed bug battles,” says Gail Getty, BCE. “Most continue to strive for and reach the ‘high bar of quality’ they and their guests expect. The foundation of their programs will probably continue to be rooted in prevention and monitoring for some time.”
Published Field Proof of Hotel Prevention
A major brand name hotel evaluated the use of ActiveGuard for prevention in a field study at a 1,600-room facility with approximately 3,000 beds. The historical reported incident rate was two per week, spread consistently over a typical year. A two-year composite of data (2013-2015) indicated that ActiveGuard Mattress Liners installed on box springs hotel-wide as the centerpiece of a preventive program resulted in:
- 100 percent reduction in infestations.
- 92.5 percent reduction in reported incident frequency.
- More than $500,000 in cost savings per annum resulting from significantly reduced operational costs, room closures, guest compensation and more.
- Immeasurable savings in preserving the brand’s reputation.
How to Build Relationships with Hotels
In “Discover the Power of Prevention,” the experts behind ActiveGuard explore the current bed bug situation and outline how a PMP can execute a proven-effective prevention program with active mattress liners, the “best liner of defense” between bed bugs and guests. PMPs will learn how to help their hotel clients maximize profits, bolster their reputations, and secure guests for life.
Pest management professionals are a crucial partner to hotels. Building a strong relationship with one hotel general manager can open lines of communication with other general managers and further potential business. These relationships can lead to an excellent recurring revenue stream.
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This page was produced by North Coast Media’s content marketing staff in collaboration with ActiveGuard. NCM Content Marketing connects marketers to audiences and delivers industry trends, business tips and product information. The Pest Management Professional editorial staff did not create this content.