- Published: October 31, 2021
- Updated: October 31, 2021
- University / College: RMIT University
- Language: English
- Downloads: 24
The hospitality landscape is evolving at a rapid pace along with the issues that are constantly biting the hospitality industry’s performance. The hospitality industry witnessed ups and downs in earlier years due to economic recession that significantly reduced the hotel occupancy rates. Moreover, the recent years have become more terrorizing for the hospitality industry due to the rising of unwelcome, bloodsucking bed bugs that are constantly infesting the hotel’s mattresses, bedding and clothing management.
The aim of this assignment would be to evaluate that how come the issues related to bed bugs have become a catastrophic buttonfor the hospitality industry. In addition, the measures taken by the hotel management along with the hospitality industry would be taken under consideration to evaluate the industry’s response to such biting issue. Similarly, the industry association would also be taken into spotlight to identify their stand regarding the rise of bed bugs in the industry. Lastly, the impact of the issue on the performance of the industry would be taken into consideration. This would help to identify the impact of bed bugs on the performance in the future along with the measures that should be taken to eradicate the problem from its root.
The term hospitality management could be explained as the practices that are taken under consideration by the administration of the hotel management to enhance its attraction. In simpler words, the occupational practices associated with the administration of hotels, resorts or any other lodging is decisively included in the hospitality industry.
Hospitality industry is one such industry that aims to provide the travelers and tourists with supplies of food, drinks and accommodations at a particular cost. The aim of such industry is to keep the customers satisfied with the services being offered to them. In addition, finding creative solutions to potential problems and problems is one of the major tasks of the hotel management through which it develops competitive edge over others in the industry. Meeting the customer’s need beyond their expectation is the goal of the hospitality management through which the hotels and resorts tend to motivate the customers to enhance its relationship with the management for longer-duration.
HOT ISSUE IN HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT
Bed bugs infestation is one of the hot issues in the hospitality management that is constantly increasing and can be found everywhere across the hospitality industry. The continually breeding bed bugs are biting the revenues of the hospitality industry along with other associated industries. The rising fear of the customers have made the hospitality management scramble to find possible solutions to such a problem as these crawling insects have made the travelers and tourists lives a mess (Miller, 2007).
According to National Pest Management Association, the bedbugs have significantly increased in numbers i.e. 80 percent and are showing no signs of retreating (Hunter, 2010). The hot issue of bed bugs has become epidemic that is constantly ruining vacations worldwide. The bloodsucking parasites are one of the reasons for public relations nightmare for the hospitality management as it negatively impacts the booking of hotel rooms. With bed bugs infestation, customers tend to keep themselves away from hotels which mean loss of business. To enhance its booking and profits, the hotel management would have to obtain new customers – which seems to be easier but is awfully difficult in such competitive hospitality landscape (Hunter, 2010).
Some of the potential impact of bed bugs infestation in the hospitality industry includes;
– Loss of customers i.e. loss of repeat business
– Higher costs associated with cleaning and extermination
– Replacement of infested furniture and purchase of new furniture
– Loss of income and reputation in the industry
– Five to six times cost to acquire new customers than to keep current customer
– Negative publicity
– Erosion in brand value
The rising issue of bed bugs in the hospitality management has become a hot button issue that is constantly spooking and freaking the customers out. The worst nightmare of the customers and the hospitality management has become the headlines that must be taken care off before further loss of business and profits.
INDUSTRY’S RESPONSE TO BED BUGS
Bed bugs have become more of a nuisance than cockroaches and other insects in the hospitality industry. The treatment of bed bugs is quite difficult and costly due to which often small hotels tend to ignore the issue. But due to bed bugs ability to be dispersed quickly through human travel, 5 star hotels are also facing the same problem as other hotels in the hospitality industry (Miller, n.d.).
Bed bugs are considered as horrible little bloodsucking creatures that makes tourists and travelers nervous. Such an impact often results in loss of business. The fear of bed bugs scares away the guests due to which hospitality industry have taken measures to disinfest and eliminate the problem from its roots (Ogg, 2010). The hospitality industry is significantly aware of the rising problem of bed bugs infestation due to which, the hospitality management have highly focused on laundering the bedding and clothing thoroughly in hot dryer. This process kills all the stages of bed bugs in an instant. In addition, vacuuming the infested areas thoroughly is another process that is in spotlight at the moment. In this particular process, the management of the hotel vacuums the infested areas thoroughly. The areas that are paid with high level of importance include mattresses, foundation springs, furniture, beds and sofas. Steaming carpets is also taken under consideration after such rapid rise of bed bugs infestation (Miller, n.d.).
Lastly, the hospitality industry have identified that beg bugs usually hide in cracks with the width of credit card and in void spaces. To eliminate the bugs from its roots, the industry has identified the use of chemicals as prominent tool. This means that the industry has focused all its attention to disinfest the harborage areas with chemicals (Miller, n.d.).
ADDRESSING THE ISSUE OF BED BUGS IN THE FUTURE
Bed bugs have the ability to move from one place to another at an enormous speed. This means that bed bugs could be carried into hotels without knowing. The most prominent sources of bed bugs are infested luggage, clothing, blankets and pillows (Department of Public Health, n.d.). For the hospitality management to address the issue in forthcoming years, the industry should hire professional pest management. Having high level of skills to eradicate pest permanently could save the industry and hotels from heavy costs associated with eradication of bed bugs without professional help (Vermont Department of health, 2011).
In addition, bed bugs are carried by guests visiting the hotel and it is not something that the management could do to stop it. As a precautionary step, the housekeeping and management staff should be trained to monitor, control and prevent bed bugs from infestation. To make the training more effective, the staff should be provided with proper training twice a year i.e. commencement of the employment and at the end of the year. The elements that should be covered in the training include;
– Identification of bed bugs and information about the life-cycle and characteristics of bed bugs
– Information regarding the routine inspection of the tenant room which involves close inspection of;
– Mattresses, furniture and joints of bed frame
– The top and bottom area of baseboards, window sills and door frames
– Cracks and crevices in the room along with the floor
– The portion of wall behind the frame as well as headboards
– Proper instructions regarding the routine inspection of storage area of unused furniture as well as maid carts
– Lastly by providing the staff with information regarding the effective control and prevention of bed bugs population (Vermont Department of health, 2011).
Taking care of bed bugs has become an essential aspect for the business to flourish and prosper. It has previously been informed that bed bugs can cause loss of business and reputation of the hotel. This might affect the value proposition of the business along with the prestige and customer satisfaction level (Waldvogel, and Alde, n.d.).
Handling this issue is quite important for the hospitality industry. This could be done by hiring professional pest management and control authority that have expertise and right equipments to eliminate the infestation from the dark holes of the hotel.
Hospitality management has suffered a lot due to economic recession that resulted in low profits and high maintenance costs. But with the passage of time, the hospitality industry has witnessed increase in infestation of bed bugs which is even worse than the economic recession. Such an infestation of bed bugs have resulted in loss of business and even worse value proposition that is often looked for in the hospitality management.
The bed bugs infestation is a rising issue for the hospitality management which must be severely dealt with to enhance the profit ratio in the forthcoming years. To do so, the hospitality management must hire professional help to eradicate the problem from its core. This could eventually help the management to regain the old customers that were lost due to the bloodsucking creatures in the past.
Hunter, M. (2010). Bedbugs gaining ground. CNN, Retrieved June 8, 2013 from http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/07/27/bed.bugs.travel/index.html
Miller, D. (n.d.). Bed Bug Action Plan for Hotels. Virginia Cooperative Extension, Retrieved June 8, 2013 from http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pesticides/pdffiles/bb-hotels1.pdf
Miller, K. (2007). The Cost of Bedbugs. Bloomberg Business week, Retrieved June 8, 2013 from http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2007-11-08/the-cost-of-bedbugsbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice
Ogg, B. (2010). Managing Bed Bugs. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Retrieved June 8, 2013 from http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/bedbug263.shtml
Vermont Department of health. (2011). Bed Bug Identification, Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 8, 2013 from http://healthvermont.gov/prevent/bedbugs/documents/BedBugs_recommends_for_hospitality_industry.pdf
Waldvogel, M. and Alde, P. (n.d.). Tips For Preventing The Spread Of Bed Bugs. NC State University.