Hilton Taps Lysol Maker in Bid to Woo Guests With Cleaner Rooms

(Bloomberg) -- Hotels used to lure travelers with loyalty points and pampering treatment. Now, they’re marketing techniques for disinfecting guest rooms.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. has partnered with the Mayo Clinic and Reckitt Benckiser Group, which makes Lysol and other cleaning products, to introduce a new set of cleaning protocols across the company’s 6,100 hotels.

The program, which is still being finalized, will emphasize disinfection of so-called high-touch areas in rooms, including light switches, television remotes, door handles and thermostats, according to a statement on Monday. Hilton is also touting electrostatic sprayers and ultraviolet lights to sanitize surfaces.

“As we think about how behavior changes during this time, the importance of cleanliness is going to stay with us,” said Phil Cordell, Hilton’s head of new brand development. “The renewed focus on cleaning is not going to go away.”

Cleaning standards are emerging as a competitive front for an industry that has been battered by the coronavirus. In the U.S., roughly four out of five hotel rooms are empty, and 70% of lodging workers have been laid off or furloughed, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

With a full recovery still a long way off, lodging companies are betting that sanitary standards will be key to convincing vacationers and business travelers that their properties are safe.

Airbnb Inc. has been working with former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to develop an “enhanced cleaning initiative” for home-sharing hosts, the company said in a statement on Monday.

Last week, Marriott International Inc. said it had formed a “global cleanliness council” of public health and hospitality experts, and promised to use hospital-grade disinfectants to sterilize its properties. The company also said it would begin using electrostatic sprayers.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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