Reports of Bed Bugs on Hotel Selection: A Choice Experiment

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The resurgence of bed bugs in the United States creates challenges for hotels and motels. One aspect that is especially important to hospitality are reports of bed bugs and how they affect travellers’ selection and potential damage to hotel brands. To address this issue, we conduct a choice experiment of a national sample of US travellers. We find that consumers expectedly respond negatively to reports of bed bugs, and they are sensitive to the number of reports of bed bugs. Through consumer Willingness to Pay for a hotel room, we quantify the negative impact of reports of bed bugs on the hotel industry through lost room premium. Expectedly, avoiding bed bugs is more valuable among those who worry more about bed bugs, but prior knowledge and experience have no effect. How explicitly the reports of bed bugs are disclosed to travellers affects their reaction and Willingness to Pay greatly.

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International Journal of Hospitality Management

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