Sanitation Problems in Hotels and at Beaches
Category : Environmental Management, Health Topics, Tourism Papers
Sanitation Problems in Hotels and at Beaches
Sanitation issues at hotels and beaches have taken a forefront in the environmental and tourism agendas. All over the world, vacation hot spots are quickly becoming unsanitary places which are health-hazards. These problems are crippling the tourism industry.
In the hotel industry, there is a new trend emerging due to sanitation issues. According to a survey done by the American Institute of Architects, more luxurious and spacious showers are becoming popular with hotels. (ehotelier) The Hilton New York, the Beverly Hills Hilton, the Sofitel Los Angeles have undergone renovations where the tubs in the units have been removed and placed by shower stalls.
Bed bug infestation has also been a concern with many hotels worldwide. According to a study, 67 percent of nearly 1,000 pest management companies surveyed have treated bedbug infestations in hotels or motels. Infestations tend to occur more frequently in urban and suburban areas with larger populations, according to the study, but the tiny pests aren't particular about their accommodations. Bedbugs may take up residence anywhere from houses and laundry facilities to budget hotels and four- and five-star resorts. Researchers identify increased travel as a key reason for the spike in infestations. "Bedbugs are often referred to as the 'hitchhiking pests,' " said Missy Henriksen, a spokeswoman for the National Pest Management Association. (CNN) Bedbugs are not considered ‘sanitation’ issues per-se because they are brought in by the guests.
Food Sanitation is crucial. Poor sanitation in the kitchen can cause illness, food poisoning, and a lot of legal problems from unhappy guests. Traveler’s Diarrhea is the most common health-related problem for travelers going to developing nations. The highest risk destinations for contracting TD are most of the developing countries of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Regions of moderate risk for TD include southern Europe and a few of the Caribbean islands. The areas of lowest risk include the United States, Canada, Northern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and several of the Caribbean islands. (Torres & Skillicorn)
The tourism industry must take a holistic approach that explicitly includes protection of the natural and urban environments extending beyond the immediate confines of their individual hotels. The hotels must work closely with the government to plan tourism that does not result in uneven and spatially polarized development leading to urban squalor on the periphery of resorts. (Torres & Skillicorn) The most immediate mechanism by which to begin addressing health and sanitation concerns regarding local produce is through development of strategic alliances among producers, suppliers, chefs, and restaurateurs. An alliance of this sort would have the power and authority to establish quality standards for local production and handling.
Sanitation around beaches in many of the popular holiday areas are also being scrutinized. Waste management seems to be the biggest factor in the lack of sanitation. Medical waste, toxic soil, heavy metals, and garbage wash up daily on our beaches. In Hawaii for instance, one of the most popular vacation spots in the world, have had incidences of medical waste washing up on shore. The medical waste, toxic soil, heavy metals, and garbage that was once buried at Waimanalo Gulch Landfill, rushed into the ocean late last week forcing the closure of multiple beaches. That included pristine beaches fronting the luxurious Ko Olina Resorts and the soon-to-be opened Disney Resort as well as the U.S. Navy’s White Plains Beach. (Zimmerman)
The Department of Health downplays the medical waste found, saying Waste Management records show it was “properly sterilized” and “should not be considered infectious.” The DOH is warning of high bacteria levels in the ocean including enterococcus and clostridium perfringens in the storm water and nearby coastline on Thursday and Monday, and says beachgoers and swimmers could be punctured by used needles. (Zimmerman).
The common factor in all of these sanitation issues is education. People need to be educated about the hazards and threats that these sanitation issues brings about. The citizens, the local government and all the specialized agencies should work together to ensure a safe environment for everyone.
Hunter, Marnie. Bedbugs gaining ground. CNN. 27 July, 2010. Retrieved 6 May, 2011 from http://articles.cnn.com/2010-07-27/travel/bed.bugs.travel_1_bedbug-infestations-national-pest-management-association-hotel-room?_s=PM:TRAVEL
Torres, Rebecca & Skillicorn, Paul. Montezuma’s revenge: how sanitation concerns may injure Mexico’s tourist industry. Entrepreneur. May 2004. Retrieved 6 May, 2011 from http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/116410185.html
Zimmerman, Malia. Used Blood Vials, Syringes Washing up on Beaches after Landfill Breaches; No guarantee it Won’t Happen Again, City Says. Smart Business. 19 January, 2011. Retrieved 6 May, 2011 from http://www.hawaiireporter.com/blood-viles-needles-syringes-washing-up-on-oahu%E2%80%99s-west-beaches-after-landfill-breaches-during-rainstorm-no-guarantee-it-wont-happen-again-city-says/123