Both the Senate and the House in the state of Nevada are studying a proposed bill that would get rid of daily house cleaning. In 2019, a bill was passed that mandated regular cleaning because of COVID. The Senate Bill 4 of 2020 also required Las Vegas and Reno resorts to clean rooms every day. This might not be the case soon as lawmakers are considering a bill that would repeal the law. However, there are several concerns to this proposal coming from guests, unions and the hospitality industry.
Cleaning Is Part of Guest Satisfaction
Cleaning is a vital part of a hotel’s operations. According to a 2016 study of 3-star hotels in Dubai, the cleanliness of the room/premises is one of the factors that affect tourist satisfaction. Hotel cleaning is indispensable because it provides a clean environment that can enhance customer experience and comfort. Cleanliness is crucial as well for health and safety of both guests and staff as it prevents the spread of germs and reduces risks of illnesses. Furthermore, hotels are subject to various health and safety regulations and cleanliness standards. Adhering to these rules is not only beneficial to the brand and its clients, but also to avoid fines that can tarnish the reputation of the hotel.
When COVID hit, hotels implemented various changes in their cleaning practices primarily for health and safety prioritization. Given that the virus is highly contagious, extra precautions were taken to minimize the transmission within the facilities. Some guests also expressed preference for limited contact with staff during their stay to reduce exposure to the virus. To accommodate these preferences, hotels offered limited housekeeping services allowing clients to opt-out of daily room cleaning. On the other hand, management also enhanced their cleaning process in response to COVID-19 including more frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces in common areas and guest rooms.
Adjustment of Hotel Policies
Hotel occupancy rates worldwide are at 63% as of the first quarter of 2023 which is nearly at pre-pandemic levels. Accommodation establishments have been adjusting their housekeeping policies with various hotels offering an opt-in model providing cleaning services to those who request it. Hilton, on the other hand, is reversing its policy offering an automatic daily housekeeping for its luxury brands worldwide starting this fall says its spokesperson Josie Hill. Other establishments will offer automatic service on alternate days.
Labor union, Unite Here, supports automatic daily cleaning to safeguard jobs and ease workloads maintaining that rooms are harder to clean up if they have not been done for several days. Taylor who is president of the union says that ‘with hotel rates at all-time highs, every guest deserves a clean room every day.’ On the other hand, the Nevada Resort Association believes that repealing the mandate ensures guests have choices while a hospitality and travel specialist at the New York University Tisch Center of Hospitality said that reduced services are due to costs, staffing, guest privacy preferences, and environmental impact.
Removing mandatory daily cleaning of rooms in hotels has both advantages and drawbacks. While it a promotes a guest-friendly approach and reduces costs, some are not happy with the disappearance of standard cleaning services. In addition, housekeeping staff is having a harder time due to lost wages and more time spent on cleaning.