Hotels, airlines and sports venues turn to Clorox and Lysol to vouch for their cleanliness

Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

If you jump on a United Airlines flight, you are likely to see the Clorox logo on signs and posters as you board.

Check into a Marriott or Hyatt hotel and expect to see stickers emblazoned with the name of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, an arm of the world's cleaning-products industry trade group.

Customers of Delta Air Lines, Avis car rentals and Hilton hotels might run into placards and stickers touting the Lysol brand.

Trying to reassure a nervous public about their efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, hotels, airlines, car rental companies and sports arenas have teamed up with the makers of popular cleaning products to vouch for their cleaning protocols.

These protocols focus mostly on disinfecting public spaces and high-touch surfaces, whereas medical experts note that COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through the air after an infected person coughs, sneezes or exhales.

And the new partnerships and accreditation programs touted by such travel and hospitality companies do not guarantee that the makers of the popular cleaning products have inspected the facilities -- so they're very different from, say, restaurant letter grades, which assure that local health inspectors scrutinize the eateries on a regular basis.


Also unlike government health departments, the cleaning-product makers expect to profit by charging fees to the venues or boosting sales of their products.

Venues embrace these programs for good reason, hospitality experts say, because travelers are no longer as preoccupied with getting the best price for their next trip as they are with protecting themselves from COVID-19.

"It's a critical move," said Anthony Melchiorri, a hospitality expert who hosts the Travel Channel series "Hotel Impossible." "Not only do your guests have to feel safe but your employees must feel safe."

Although brand names can inspire confidence and comfort, human behavior is key to safety, health experts note.


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