Meeting Planners Rarely Inquire About Bedbugs

Despite the scary truth that bedbugs are invading popular meetings destinations like New York City, a recent survey polling over 50 meeting planners by the Knowland Group found that 82 percent never inquire about bedbug infestations while researching venues, whereas 10 percent will "sometimes" ask and just 8 percent "always" ask.
Interestingly, less than 6 percent ask about bedbug encounters after an event. When shopping for venues, planners said their greatest concerns were location (33 percent) and cost (25 percent). A spokesman said the group consisted of "meeting planners for large corporations, others for associations, as well as small businesses," from across the country.

When asked if planners inquired whether properties had bedbug outbreaks, 98 percent said no. Furthermore, a press release quoted a planner as saying: "None of the members of my association have expressed any concern about attending an event because of the possibility of bedbugs."

In an attempt to reassure those traveling to New York City, Joseph Spinnato, president and CEO of the Hotel Association of New York City, said "There is a misperception about a massive bedbug infestation in New York City hotels" that is "simply wrong" and "the increase has had a minimal impact on the vast majority of hotels." However, he suggested the cause for the increase in bedbugs is due to restrictions on "certain pesticides" that were banned.

However, for those travelers or meeting attendees who, like me, are curious about bedbug outbreaks when they travel, I suggest looking at The Bed Bug Registry to see what the travelers are saying about the property you will be staying in. The site also lists hotel chains that have properties allegedly contained bedbugs, as reported by travelers.