Henry Harteveldt, the founding father of Atmosphere Research Group, a San Francisco-based journey market analysis agency, additionally carried out a survey of two,500 enterprise and leisure vacationers within the United States final month. Three-quarters of respondents mentioned they have been considerably or very involved about catching Covid-19. Of the roughly 1,060 respondents who had stayed a minimum of as soon as in a lodge within the earlier 12 months, over 80 % mentioned it was vital that accommodations exceed tips for cleansing visitor rooms issued by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The C.D.C. tips embrace, amongst different measures, the frequent use of E.P.A.-approved disinfectants on “surfaces and objects touched by multiple people,” in addition to practising social distancing and sporting masks.
If lodge house owners fail to keep up cleanliness requirements, Mr. Harteveldt mentioned, “guests may be fearful about what else could go wrong. This could affect their willingness to return to the hotel and their brand loyalty to the hotel group.”
Although lodge corporations, together with Marriott and others, have instituted these new cleanliness requirements, in lots of cases they don’t personal or function the accommodations bearing their model names. According to STR, 61 % of the 56,300 accommodations within the United States right now are branded, whereas 39 % are unbiased. Most branded accommodations are independently owned and operated by third events, who’re answerable for sustaining a model’s cleanliness requirements.
“Just because you walk into a hotel that has a brand name associated with it, that doesn’t mean the brand has any direct management involvement with that property,” mentioned Mr. Harteveldt.
Not surprisingly, cleanliness points additionally pose issues for some lodge housekeepers.
Lydia Hernandez, who has labored as a housekeeper for 15 years on the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, is a member of Unite Here, a hospitality employees’ union in Canada and the United States. When the pandemic started, she solely labored someday every week; extra lately, she has been working 5 days every week, eight.5 hours every day. Ms. Hernandez mentioned the lodge at the moment has between eight and 10 housekeepers working full-time; earlier than the pandemic, she mentioned there have been 35.
Her biggest concern now could be the variety of visitor rooms she is assigned to wash each day. Before the pandemic, she cleaned all visitor rooms day by day, a course of she mentioned took half an hour per room. Now she solely cleans a visitor room when a visitor checks out and should comply with Hilton’s new cleanliness requirements. These embrace deep-cleaning 10 high-touch areas, decluttering paper facilities and putting a seal on the door of the visitor room to point it has not been entered because it was cleaned.
Many visitors right now, she mentioned, are “messier. They leave rooms to the point where it’s a disaster. They drink, eat chips, throw these all over the floor, in the bathroom, bathtub. It’s really bad.”