Environmentally-friendly Pest Management Tools Help your Hotel on the Path to Sustainability

By Frank Meek International Technical & Training Director, Orkin, LLC | April 22, 2012

Co-authored by Patrick T. Copps, MS, B.C.E., Technical Services Manager, Orkin, LLC

Sustainability and environmentally friendly operations are a hot topic in the hospitality industry. From small investments to major overhauls, hotels owners are doing everything from light retrofits to the installation of all-new low-flow water fixtures and recycling programs. New construction and renovations alike include the sustainable practices now expected by those in the industry, as well as their guests.

For those hotels that are looking to obtain green certifications, such as Green Key, LEED and other designations, property owners and managers must consider all aspects of operations. Energy and water conservation, as well as implementing operational practices that reduce the use of natural resources are all important to sustainability. However, another area that warrants consideration in green practices is pest management.

All areas of a hotel are susceptible to pests; these include the front and back of the house, food and beverage outlets, outdoor spaces and even areas frequented by guests, like hallways and meeting rooms. For hotel executives who want or need to meet strict sustainability standards, an environmentally friendly Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program is a great way to incorporate green pest management practices, with methods that will keep your hotel on the path to sustainability.

An IPM program helps prevent pest activity by limiting access to their basic necessities. IPM stresses proactive management methods such as stringent sanitation and facility maintenance to reduce potential problems before they occur, rather than focusing solely on reactive chemical treatments. Additionally, IPM programs include environmentally-responsible products and monitoring devices that are not only effective, but have the least impact on the environment, which is especially important in hotels, where you are responsible for the health and safety of your guests.

It's easy to be overwhelmed by all of the pest management tool options and how to know which ones will work for the different areas of your hotel. Work with your pest management professional to determine which green pest management tools can provide sustainable results with minimal impact. Be sure your pest management professional focuses on tools that do not over rely on chemicals. Your pest management professional should offer multiple techniques to interrupt the pest life cycle and encourage a proactive approach that treats the sources of a pest problem, rather than existing signs of one.

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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.