Hotel Amenities or Enemies? - Guest Attractions May Attract Unwanted Guests

By Frank Meek International Technical & Training Director, Orkin, LLC | May 21, 2010

Beyond checking the availability of a room during their travel window, guests may also check the availability of amenities before they book with you. Business travelers want the comforts of home, and vacationers want all the extras home doesn't offer. To cater to the varying wishes of guests, hotels and resorts continue to add to the list of convenient, value-added services and amenities offered, from fitness centers to business centers, food service to laundry service. Guests expect to have everything they could want or need within the confines of the hotel. These amenities add up to guest satisfaction but may also be the perfect invitation for pests.

With an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy, a pest management provider can identify areas that offer what pests are looking for – food, water and shelter with good, proper ambient temperatures – and implement preventive practices that help keep pests out. The focus of an IPM program is a proactive, preventive approach that relies on targeted chemical treatments only as a last resort. IPM's limited use of chemical treatments also makes it a more sustainable solution to pest management, which scores another amenity point with guests. A strong IPM strategy and partnership with your pest management provider will help you maintain the amenities that garner four-star reviews and keep your hotel a hot spot for your guests – not pests.

Following are common hotel amenities that rate highly with pests and tips on how to stop them before they get comfortable.

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool, a haven of relaxation for guests, can also be attractive to flies, mosquitoes and stinging insects seeking a moist environment and readily available food and water sources. To keep these pests from making a splash, keep the pool area clear of puddles and other standing water by using a squeegee on the deck after rain showers. Empty or dispose of containers that have gathered rainwater or other residual moisture which can attract mosquitoes.

Trailing vines and flowering bushes in the landscaping around the pool deck not only attract pests with the sweet smell of nectar, their foliage can also provide convenient harborage. Vines and greenery can also become "bridges"by which insects can crawl over treated areas to gain entry into your establishment. Work with your landscape manager and pest management provider to develop landscape plans that deny pests the cover and entry points they seek. Install sodium vapor bulbs or yellow bulbs in outdoor lights to fend off mosquitoes surrounding the pool and clubhouse. Unlike mercury vapor or incandescent lights, these bulbs do not provide as much attraction for mosquitoes and other flying insects.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.