It seems everyone’s talking about bed bugs these days, but the resurgence of these blood-sucking insects is not high on meeting planners’ lists of concerns when booking a property, according to a new survey by the Knowland Group.
The survey, conducted October 11-12, found that 82 percent of meeting planners never inquire about bed bugs at the hotels they’re considering for an event. Just 10 percent sometimes ask about bed bugs and 8 percent will always ask. Two percent of the respondents say they have started asking for clauses in their meetingpertaining to bed-bug outbreaks.
Attendees don’t appear to be worried about bed bugs either. Of the planners surveyed, 88 percent said none of their attendees had expressed concerns. Only 6 percent reported that more than half of their group had asked about bed bugs, while 6 percent said less than half had brought up the issue. “None of the members of my association have expressed any concern about attending an event because of the possibility of bed bugs,” said one survey respondent who plans meetings for a national business association based in Maryland.
Bed bugs were, in fact, the least of the respondents’ worries. When asked about their greatest concern when booking events at hotels, location was cited most frequently (33 percent), followed by cost (25 percent), space (20 percent), amenities (9 percent), other (9 percent), and, lastly, bed bugs (4 percent).