Cleanliness and Comfort Top Everything Else in Hotel Selection

Travelers' final choices of hotel selection vary, depending upon the purpose of the trip. However, cleanliness is not among the variables. If the hotel doesn't pass the cleanliness test, leisure and business guests will book elsewhere, according to a recent research study by the guest feedback analysis firm, Trustyou.com, and experts from the School of Hospitality Management at Penn State University.

The study of more than 550 travelers included business and leisure travel guests of luxury and budget hotels. Hotel cleanliness and comfort were rated the most important factors in hotel selection for both groups. However, business travelers assumed that cleanliness is a given in luxury hotels. They told the researchers they were likely to also consider other factors like Wi-Fi, great rooms and impressive breakfast offerings in making hotel selections.

Whether you are responsible for maintaining a budget hotel or a five-star facility, your task to live up to guests' expectations should not be underestimated.

Your commitment to cleanliness extends beyond guest rooms and must be obvious throughout the guest experience. It starts with your website. Although there are dozens of sites from which leisure and business travelers can reserve rooms, the hotel's own website is where most bookings occur. The study found more than 40 percent of leisure travelers and 31 percent of business travelers book directly on the hotel's website. Make sure your site demonstrates your commitment to cleaning and promotes your rigorous cleaning standards. Explain your cleaning polices, if possible.

Beyond your digital space, continue to demonstrate cleanliness throughout your property including entries, corridors, indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, restaurants, meeting spaces and your parking lot.

Make cleaning as visible as possible throughout the day without disrupting guests in their rooms or passing through the lobby. Consider investing in vacuums like the Sanitaire EON™ QuietClean®, an upright with the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Gold Seal of Approval that meets LEED green cleaning standards for quiet operation, dust capture and HEPA filtration.

Invest in staff training and incentives to assure housekeeping crews understand the importance of their work so they project a sense of pride. Guests will see that as another sign of the hotel's commitment to live up to their cleaning and comfort expectations.

One incentive that has succeeded in many hotels gives housekeepers a stake in clean rooms. Housekeepers leave signed cards after cleaning each room, demonstrating the housekeepers' pride and accountability for their work.

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