What Hotel Managers Can Do To Fight Germs

Hotel managers never know if a hotel room has been exposed to airborne or surface germs, but there are precautions that hoteliers take that can help hotel guests leave their stays unscathed by germs.

Health- and Wellness-Minded Guests

Hotel guests increasingly care about health and wellness. For instance, before booking a hotel, I always check the reviews for comments about cleanliness and housekeeping. And the very first thing I do upon entering a hotel is wash my hands. Why? Because a journey to the hotel is a likely time to contaminate them. I might have encountered germs when pressing an elevator button, using handrails or opening a door.

Within the room itself, there are plenty of places for germs to hide. I like to examine the mattress for bedbugs and check for their tiny white eggs or shed skin, which can be transparent or yellowish.

Elsewhere in the room, heavy drapes are collectors of dust and debris. The bathroom can be a considerable germ hot spot, even if the toilet seat looks spotless. And wall-to-wall carpet effectively transforms the entire floor into one extensive fomite.

Interestingly, one aspect of the hotel room gets hardly any attention paid to it at all: indoor air quality. Gasses like carbon monoxide; volatile organic compounds; particulates; microbes such as bacteria, viruses and mold fungi; allergens and other particles all affect indoor air quality.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air is 25 to 100 times dirtier than outdoor air, and most people spend 90% of their time indoors. There is no question that poor air quality can adversely affect our health, and some guests will have underlying respiratory diseases such as asthma, COPD or allergies.

Fortunately, there are things hotel managers can do to decrease the likelihood of unhealthy germs spreading in guest rooms. Read more on Hotel Dive.