The Benjamin Franklin quote “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” speaks to the power of preventive behavior. When it comes to launching any new initiative, hoteliers always consider the impact on their bottom line as they weigh the risk versus reward of spending money. Bed bugs are a very real concern for guests. If a guest encounters one, your hotel’s reputation decreases under the scrutiny of their negative social media posts and booking site reviews. Proactive bed bug prevention proves its worth as an indispensable and essential investment for hospitality professionals.
Social media’s power is undeniable, and its financial impact is evident based on positive praise or negative comments. Consider this: According to a University of Kentucky study “Bed Bugs ‘Bite’ the Wallet of Hotel Owners,” a single report of beg bugs in recent traveler reviews lowers the value of a hotel room by $38 a night for business travelers and $23 for leisure travelers, creating an enormous downward-spiraling impact on RevPAR. To put that in perspective, a 300-room hotel that charges $200 a night at 80% occupancy would lose:
- $274,000 in revenues for hotels catering to business travelers
- $166,000 in revenues for hotels catering to vacation travelers
Those numbers are staggering, and even more so when considering this simply reflects the financial impact just the first month after the negative social media post. These lost revenues come from a combination of a decrease in room census, reduced room rates to entice discouraged guests back to the hotel and increased marketing expenses to improve the hotel’s brand reputation. Prevention allows you to avoid the multitude of operational burdens that are associated with a bed bug infestation.
The best prevention programs are anchored by ActiveGuard™ Mattress Liners. These liners are the only registered for-sale product labeled for bed bug prevention of infestations in bedding for two years, far exceeding the lifespan of the bed bug. Unlike other products or strategies that bear significant cautionary language, ActiveGuard has no use restrictions. These liners actively prevent infestations 24/7 while killing bed bugs at the two main sites where bed bugs seek harborage—mattresses and box springs. Use these liners in conjunction with a comprehensive monitoring and reporting system that is easy for all your employees to follow. Those three tools will provide you with a basic yet effective bed bug prevention strategy.
Taking preventive steps to assure a property’s rooms are bed bug-free enormously increases guest confidence as to where they lay their head at night. Maintaining brand reputation is vital: reducing guest-reported bed bug incidents, while offering a unique selling proposition that distinguishes a hotel from unprotected competitor properties, affords a distinct edge in today’s hospitality market.