“Considering all the media attention paid to bed bugs in recent years, the fact that most travelers still have a poor understanding of them is troubling,” says Michael Potter, Ph.D., extension professor in UK’s Department of Entomology and co-author of the study.
It is particularly problematic given the central role that online reviews play in travelers’ selection of where to stay. Even just one erroneous review could unduly harm a hotel’s reputation, as more than half of survey respondents said they would be very unlikely to choose a hotel with a single online report of bed bugs.
Other findings include:
- More than half (56 percent) of respondents said they either never considered the threat of bed bugs while traveling or considered it but were not worried.
- If a hotel provided information on steps it takes to prevent bed bug infestations, 46 percent of respondents said they would stay at the hotel and would appreciate knowing about those measures. The second most common response, however, was “do it, but don’t tell me” (24 percent).
- An overwhelming majority (80 percent) of respondents said hotels should be required to tell guests if their room has had a prior problem with bed bugs.
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SOURCE Entomological Society of America