MISSISSAUGA – As businesses seek solutions to keep employees and customers safe, Canada’s leading pest control provider has announced their new Orkin® VitalClean service designed to quickly eliminate a wide variety of pathogens.

The Orkin® VitalClean™ service uses a Health Canada-registered disinfectant labeled for use against a wide variety of pathogens and is included on Health Canada’s list of products that meet their criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. When applied at full strength in accordance with the product label, it will kill 100 per cent of bacteria and viruses on hard, non-porous surfaces and will also sanitize soft, porous surfaces.

"Orkin® VitalClean™ is an effective option for helping reduce risk and restore a safer and healthier business environment which is critical to getting our economy up and running again," said Rob Quinn, Senior Vice President of Operations, Orkin Canada. "This product has been used for years to disinfect commercial facilities after pest cleanouts. We are now pleased that it can serve a broader public health purpose as well.”

In dense places where people congregate, if high-touch surfaces such as countertops, fixtures and public seating are not disinfected, harmful viruses can spread rapidly. Just like frequent, careful handwashing is a basic measure for humans to stave off virus transmission, regular large-scale disinfection is imperative to helping keep establishments where people shop, eat and work as protected as possible.

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May 7, 2020


TOPLINE: Hotels Have Applied for Paycheck Protection Program and Other Loans

More than 95% of respondents applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and/or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). 79% of applicants were approved for one or both. The median loan amount applied for was $150,000 (max PPP loan amount is 2.5x monthly payroll).

Top reasons why: A) Loan only covers 8 weeks of payroll and expected recovery to take much longer; B) Many hotels are still closed by government order and unable to reopen C) Have to spend PPP funds in short window of time to be forgivable, unable to hire staff back and will then be required to repay the loan.

TOPLINE: Lack of Debt Forbearance is a major issue for hotel owners NOW

Survey of hotels highlights urgent need for AHLA’s requested updates to Paycheck Protection Program and for debt relief from lenders, especially within the CMBS market.

BOTTOM LINE: With little to no revenue + no forbearance = hotels permanently close

BOTTOM LINE: More than 50% said the loan amount is not enough to rehire their staff.

BOTTOM LINE: More than 50% said the loan amount is not enough to rehire their staff.


AMBLER, PA - May 7, 2020 - With stay-at-home orders in place in most states, public health structural pests like bedbugs, roaches and rodents are proliferating because of increased accessibility to food sources.  All of these contribute to worsening asthma conditions and related breathing complications, which may lead to more severe cases of COVID-19 for the 25 million asthmatics in the U.S.


Although pest control has been deemed an essential service by Homeland Security and the vast majority of states during the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns over maintaining social distancing and possible exposure to the coronavirus has significantly slowed, or stopped, treatments for these internal structural pests. 


“The implementation of stay-at-home mandates has created a fertile breeding ground for bedbugs, roaches, and rodents. This is especially true for multi-occupant, assisted living, and hospitality properties,” said Joseph Latino, President of Allergy Technologies.  “There is a need to strike the ‘right’ balance between preserving public health through preventive and focused pest control, while not causing undue exposure risk to clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 




Bedbugs require frequent blood meals to grow into adulthood and reproduce. Within several months one pregnant female can result in over 30,000 bedbugs.  If left unaddressed, bedbugs will spread throughout a facility, affecting the lives of neighboring tenants in multi-occupant environments.


Bedbugs also prefer to feed while being undisturbed; for example, when people are sleeping or resting for extended periods on a couch, while watching TV or playing video games. Stay-at-home social behavior has provided plenty of opportunities for bedbugs to feed. Sadly, those affected by the coronavirus, who are too sick to get out of bed, provide the ideal bedbug victim.  Resulting bites, when repeatedly scratched, can result in infections that further complicate the condition of the patient. 


Hotels are also increasingly being repurposed as locations for the homeless, quarantine sites, and temporary housing for healthcare workers and emergency first responders. Bedbug introductions will undoubtedly rise substantially without implementing prevention and affecting timely treatments. While hotels are being returned to service and are undergoing sanitization, they should consider including bedbug detection, treatment and instituting preventive strategies.  These measures are significantly easier to enact, less disruptive and less expensive while the hotel is unoccupied.   Taking proactive steps now to treat and prevent bedbugs will create great savings down the road.


Rodents and Roaches


Rodent activity is on the uptick throughout the country. Increased food storage, food waste and delayed garbage removal provide ample food sources for these pests to grow quickly in number. National experts in the control of rodents note that, as quarantines continue and restaurants remain closed, rodent activity is likely to rise in homes, apartments, affordable housing and assisted living facilities.


In addition, roach infestations are on the rise in environments with poor sanitation. In just 3-4 months, a roach population can multiply by over 600 times, and will continue to expand exponentially without periodic pest control maintenance and proper cleaning procedures.




If pest management professionals are not being engaged to control these public health pests, residents are likely to resort to ‘do-it-yourself’ pest control, including the improper use of household chemicals, which are ineffective and often dangerous. “Many of these chemicals are highly flammable and can compromise those with breathing difficulties,” Latino added. “And some treatments may actually enhance the resistance of these pests to traditional chemical treatments, making treatment less effective and more time-consuming.”


Pest management professionals, using well-established COVID-19 hygiene guidelines, can implement prevention programs that will significantly reduce the problems caused by these public health pests. 


Untreated pests can spread to infest entire buildings over several months, resulting in  extensive and costly treatments; significant facility-wide disruption; and unnecessarily prolonged interactions between staff, residents and pest managers which is a problem in today’s environment. “Delaying treatment and the implementation of preventive programs has created an explosion of infestations, which dangerously increases the levels of allergens for residents subject to asthma and related allergies,” added Gus Carey, Founder of Allergy Technologies.  “Residents of these facilities, particularly in typically underserved affordable housing, should not have to suffer the health problems, psychological distress and disruptions caused by these pests.” 


In trying to control the delicate balance between the short term needs of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and securing public safety through responsible pest control, the unintended hazards of deferring treatments for public health pests must be recognized.  “Even in the short- and medium term, adopting preventive strategies now, using well-documented IPM-based protocols, will reduce the need for contact time between residents and pest management service providers by 50-65%,” Latino concluded. 


May 5, 2020 – Travel is impacted globally by current health concerns. Occupancy is down, but in time, our industry will recover. For now, there are important things hoteliers can do to address the public’s concern over hygiene and personal contact, and many of them include technology. This period of lower demand is also an ideal time to look at your business and handle projects that may be on the back burner.

Guest safety is paramount, so be ready to tell guests the steps your property is taking to protect their health. Build confidence in your property’s hygiene measures by assuring guests of any upscaled housekeeping initiatives. Promote your emphasis on cleanliness, such as deep cleaning rooms and swabbing contact areas with sanitizing liquids and wipes. Review your property’s technology systems to identify functionality that reduces guest and staff contact.

Technology can reduce personal contact

Maestro PMS provides users with many modules and touchless tools that reduce or eliminate physical contact. Text messaging reduces personal interaction between guests and hotel staff. Also, web check-in, check-out and electronic signature capture eliminates several unnecessary points of contact. Many properties offer mobile-key guestroom access via an app on their phone, and when available, hotels should encourage guests to use mobile access or check out on their mobile device. This is an excellent way to show concerned guests you are providing solutions that address their health concerns and limit exposure with others.

Reduce occupancy related expenses and optimize revenue for the hospitality restart

When travel ramps up operators will need to ask, “What can I do to continue managing expenses and optimize revenue?” First, take steps to reduce occupancy-related expenses. Develop an accurate forecast and scale spending as occupancy increases. Labor costs are the first thing to assess. How many team members will you need to operate at an initially lower occupancy?  Limited service properties will not need as many breakfast supplies at first. Purchasing related to guestroom amenities and linens may easily be reduced. Likewise, utilities can be closely monitored to avoid unnecessary usage. As travel increases, you need to attract as much early business as possible. Effective revenue management and guest preference targeted campaigns will help, in particular if your property will be first occupied by domestic travelers who can more easily travel to your property over international guests.

Next, work with your yield management system or revenue management provider to implement a strategy to attract business with targeted rates. Market your attractive rates and hygiene initiative across all your booking channels. Invite guests back and offer incentives based on their stay history of preferences by data mining through analytics and business intelligence tools.

When you have done all you can to improve hygiene, reduce expenses and optimize revenue, look inside your business to address projects that have been on hold until a quiet period.  Now is that quiet period. Review your system and guest data security measures.  Verify your property is in compliance with the latest PCI and GDPR measures to protect credit card data and guest information. Work with your point of sale provider, spa system company to ensure their systems are secure. Call your PMS provider and ask for suggestions on how you can use your system to support responsible health measures, reduce expenses and optimize revenue. Maestro PMS is always ready to assist its users with ideas on how to operate more successfully through this challenging time.

The Maestro Property Management System delivers flexible and scalable deployment options with an identical full-featured web browser or windows solution available in the cloud or on premise.  Maestro’s revenue-generating hotel management software tools and services increase profitability, drive direct bookings, centralize operations and provide personalized and mobile guest service tools to enhance the guest experience. Click here for more information on how to engage and socialize with Maestro PMS.


May 5, 2020

At the end of the Cretaceous period, 66 million years ago, an asteroid hit what is now the northern tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The impact triggered extreme global cooling, wiping out the dinosaurs and forcing evolution in a new direction. It’s an event analogous with the effect Covid-19 will have on the global travel market. Landscapes will change, and as those unable to adapt become extinct, new products will emerge.

We know what that landscape will look like, and what you need to do not only to adapt, but to thrive.

Phase 1: REPORT

Covid-19 has plunged the world into a new Dark Age that is turning anxious eyes to whatever lights are shining. Be one of the brightest lights by acknowledging not only the love and concern your clients have for your product, but also the curiosity that engaging reportage can engender in those who’ve yet to visit. 

This is not the time to sell, but an opportunity to report: openly and honestly, like a letter from home. Regular bulletins throughout Phase One offer the opportunity to improve existing relationships and establish new ones - by recognising the isolation felt by those under domestic lockdown across the world, and their desire not just to escape, but to connect with people undergoing similar duress in places that made some of their happiest memories. Pictures, videos, case studies and interviews with ordinary people bundled into a three-minute read will offer clients a privileged insight into life at your home, strengthen connections and, crucially, create the yearning to visit. 

The voice you use to articulate this message is key. To be credible, it can only be utterly honest. Counterintuitively, this is no time for committee-crafted corporate messaging. Rather, your letters from home should be warm, chatty, informal and empathetic. We can write them for you.


When travel restrictions are lifted we will move into the global damage assessment stage. Destinations, services and infrastructure will be in a post-war state: a mixture of ruin and opportunity. Your candid reporting of true stories from the front line during Phase One will have created an essential sense of tension and jeopardy, and now is the time for resolution. We study and learn from the triumphs and errors of destination marketing, from the Caribbean post-Maria, fiercely maintaining your honesty while reassuring travellers that you’re open for business and managing expectations in a positive way. e.g. Naxos hasn’t been bombed back to the stone age by a wave of Covid-related business collapses. Instead, it offers a return to the Aegean idyll of an era before mass tourism. And we need to understand what post-Covid travellers want: rest, recuperation and relaxation. The chance to be with family, to heal and to give thanks. So let’s look at what assets we have to meet those needs and push them to the front of the stall. We can do that for you.


Phase Three is future-focused. We need never speak of Covid again as we pick up the story the pandemic eclipsed. Lockdown has given us pause to see the ills of society and time to kick our addictions to that which we always knew was wrong. Instagram, AirBnB, overtourism – arguably viral infections in themselves – may have no place in the future of travel. Many destinations, through lack of vision, will revert to that level of marketing, but the disease has presented the world with opportunities to change: to become healthier, more mindful and caring. Remember Greta? The flu may have gone but climate change is still here, and with the reset button having been pushed on the travel industry, here’s a divine opportunity to drop bad practice – the jet-fresh oysters; the aircon; the heli transfers – and become leaders of the travel revolution. We can take you there.


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