The impact of Online Reviews When it Comes to Pests

By Frank Meek International Technical & Training Director, Orkin, LLC | June 17, 2012

Whether five stars or no star, no hotel is immune to pests and the negative impact they can have on its reputation. With the soaring popularity of technology such as online blogs and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, Americans are more connected than ever, making it quick and easy for them to share a negative lodging experience with entire networks of people in the click of a "mouse".

When it comes to pests, hotel guests are concerned about the presence of pests in the establishments they frequent, and with good reason. Pests like flies can drop off dangerous bacteria every time they land, and rodents can carry diseases such as Salmonella and E. Coli. Not to mention, many people have reactions to the bites and stings of pests like wasps, ants, spiders and bed bugs.

Do hotel guests blog about pests?

To determine the frequency of pest mentions on travel and restaurant review blogs, as well as the resulting impact of these encounters on guests' loyalty, Orkin, Inc. conducted a study with international hospitality and linguistic experts John Crotts, Ph.D., and Peyton Mason, Ph.D. The study revealed that hotel patrons are in fact blogging about pests and they have "zero tolerance" for these uninvited guests.

Using the Google blog index, Crotts and Mason reviewed more than 3.2 million blog postings about U.S. hotels and restaurants for mentions of pest encounters in 2008. Then, they randomly selected and analyzed 500 blog narratives using language analysis - allowing the researchers to evaluate the impact of pest encounters on guests' loyalty to those hotels, motels and restaurants.

"Studies of other types of hotel service failures do not compare to the reaction guests have to pests. In virtually all of the blog narratives we reviewed, attempts of hotel management to remedy the situation had no effect on recovering guest loyalty," said Crotts, primary investigator for the study and professor of hospitality and tourism management at the College of Charleston. "Unlike a rude employee, a meal served cold, or a broken air conditioner, observing a pest was deemed a failure management could not overcome."

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

David Hogan
Bruce Fears
Casey Olsen
Naseem Javed
Lorraine Abelow
Ashish Modak
Beth Schelske
Paul van Meerendonk
Dana Kravetz
Bonnie Knutson
Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.