Does staying in hotel rooms make you slightly uncomfortable? Do you worry about the hundreds of previous guests and all the little traces they’ve left behind?
If germaphobia is making you think twice about your next trip, you’re not alone. According to industry research, Americans are increasingly worried about hygiene standards in mid-range hotels. Cleanliness has been ranked as the number one priority for most guests – ahead of style, design, and even customer service.
At least one hotel chain is taking notice. Best Western has announced an aggressive new approach to cleaning, aimed at thoroughly sanitizing each room and reassuring paranoid travelers.
Best Western custodial staff will soon be kitted out with high-powered cleaning equipment. Special sterilization wands will be used to disinfect frequently-touched items, particularly the telephone and light switches. UV blacklights will help detect fluids and small particles invisible to the naked eye. Bed linen, towels, and TV remotes will be plastic-wrapped for each new guest.
The new program – dubbed “I Care Clean” – will be rolled out in the next few months. Best Western has been trailing the initiative in several hotels already, and customer feedback has reportedly been positive.
That Best Western feels the need to instigate such drastic measures probably says something about the hotel’s reputation. The question is how the public will respond. Could “I Care Clean” mark a turning point in the hospitality industry, becoming standard practice in all American hotels? Or will the high-tech cleaning gadgets be seen as nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt?