What is the price for an uncleaned hotel room?

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“In some ways it makes operations more efficient,” he said, “but at what cost?”

According to a survey by the American Hotel and Lodging Association last August, some hotels said they were following the lead of consumers, many of whom were in favor of eliminating daily housekeeping during the pandemic. Hilton announced in July that it will make daily housekeeping optional for most of its hotels in the US, with the exception of luxury brands such as Waldorf Astoria and Conrad. Julie Rollend, Marriott’s director of public relations, said the company leaves it to guests to “choose their preferred cadence of cleaning services during their stay.”

“During the pandemic, we discovered that guests enjoy the flexibility of on-demand housekeeping and have varying levels of comfort as they enter their rooms after someone checks in,” Meg Ryan, Hilton’s senior director of corporate affairs, said in an email. He added that the hotel still offers on-demand housekeeping and that “the biggest challenge for the industry right now is the availability of the workforce.”

Christopher Anderson, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Management, said that “less attention during a stay is more accepting” among post-pandemic consumers and may see a similar à la carte pattern. Many airlines are becoming more popular, where guests can choose services they are ready to pay for.

“As we reduce real labor, I think firms are able to deliver operationally what they can deliver through technology, and now it’s becoming a win-win,” said Mr. Anderson. “Consumers get more from choice than they want, and if costs are cut and prices adjusted accordingly, that’s yet another win.”

But some employees say they will be the losers. A recent report by Unite Here, a hotel workers union, found that eliminating daily housekeeping as the industry standard would cost at least 180,000 jobs overwhelmingly held by women of color and $4.8 billion in lost wages.

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