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Hotel cleanliness: will guests pay for enhanced disinfection?

Dina Marie V. Zemke (William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Jay Neal (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)
Stowe Shoemaker (William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Katie Kirsch (Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 11 May 2015




This study aims to propose that there may be a marketable segment of guests who are willing to pay a premium for guestrooms that are cleaned using enhanced disinfection techniques beyond the normal room cleaning procedures. Room cleanliness is important to hotel guests. Some hotel brands currently offer allergy-free rooms, charging a premium for this service. However, no hotel brands currently serve the market that is willing to pay more for enhanced disinfection. This exploratory study investigates whether there is such a segment and, if so, what price premium these customers are willing to pay for enhanced disinfection.


Survey methods were used to determine the consumer’s perceptions of hotel guestroom cleanliness; the effectiveness of traditional and enhanced cleaning methods; and willingness to pay for enhanced guestroom disinfection.


Younger travelers and female travelers of all ages may be willing to pay a significant price premium for enhanced disinfection of a hotel guestroom.

Research limitations/implications

The survey instrument was administered via the Internet, limiting the sample. The study participants were not asked about hotel brand; thus, the results could not be analyzed by brand or service level.


Past research focuses only on traditional cleaning methods. This article provides a template for the hotel industry to explore the feasibility of offering enhanced cleanliness as a revenue-generating amenity.



Zemke, D.M.V., Neal, J., Shoemaker, S. and Kirsch, K. (2015), "Hotel cleanliness: will guests pay for enhanced disinfection?", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 690-710.



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