Most hotels across the world, like family hotels in Bangkok, adhere to strict standards, and any news about properties not adhering to these standards tend to stain the hotels’ reputation.
Such was the case with some Chinese hotels, run by several major international hotel chains, who recently came under fire following a viral video that showed the hotels’ unhygienic practices, like housekeeping staff using the same sponges on cups and sinks, and wiping bathroom surfaces with the guest towels, among others.
The hotels have since released apologetic statements towards their customers following the video going viral on Weibo, a popular Chinese social networking site, which claimed to show hidden-camera footage of cleaning staff from major hotels in the country, like Shangri-La Asia and Hilton Worldwide Holdings. The video already has at least 29 million views, alongside tens of thousands of shares and comments.
An activist blogger, sporting the pseudonym “Huazong” was responsible for the video going online, and claims that the problem has been around for a while now, and is distressingly common, saying he spent 2,000 nights at 147 hotels across a six-year timespan.
There’s also video from state broadcaster CCTV airing video of uniformed inspectors at an unnamed property showing their identification and holding up a drinking glass to the light in order to inspect it.
According to Shaun Rein, founder of China Market Research Group in Shanghai, hidden-camera videos of hotel staff behaving badly at Chinese luxury hotels surface almost regularly, due to the working conditions, which are unlike those in family hotels in Bangkok and other properties. He says that worker shortages are common, and pay is low, which means that hotel employees don’t really have much of an incentive to act properly, as they can simply quit and find employment elsewhere.
Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, operated by Marriott International, posted an apology on Weibo recently, stating that they will look into the matter and take the appropriate action. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel also issued a similar apology, stating that it would be reinforcing room-check rules and working with the government to deal with the issue.
The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued a statement on the matter, saying that cultural and tourism authorities should look into the matter and pay close attention to the service quality of the tourism industry in the country.