Travelers’ value of protective measures against bed bugs in hotels

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© The Author(s) 2020. Bed bugs pose a nontrivial threat to the hospitality industry. Hotels often engage in reactive practices to protect their business from further economic loss due to bed bugs although proactive measures, such as housekeeping inspection, professional inspections, and mattress encasements, may be more appealing to travelers and cost-effective. Using data collected from a national survey of US travelers, this study shows that travelers have the highest willingness to pay for mattress encasements and professional inspections. Although this premium varies considerably based on traveler characteristics and attitudes, and not all of them prefer to know about the practices, a large proportion of travelers have positive willingness to pay for these proactive practices. Overall, for leisure traveling, individuals who have business travel experiences for the previous year are willing to pay significantly higher than those who have never traveled for business in the previous year.

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Tourism Economics

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