Published: Sun, November 18, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Hotel chains apologize after hidden video of cleaning practices in China

Hotel chains apologize after hidden video of cleaning practices in China

The whistle-blower claimed he placed a secret camera in separate hotel rooms and then posted the 11-minute video on Weibo, according to the South China Morning Post. Many of them have said they're investigating.

Several of the hotels including a Shangri-La, Sheraton and Waldorf Astoria have apologized since an activist blogger posted the video online earlier this week. A worker at a Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Shanghai uses a gel that the video describes as shampoo to clean cups.

Other luxury hotels seen in the video include the Bulgari in Shanghai, where rooms cost up to 4,500 yuan per night. Some use the same towel to wipe the toilet seat.

He released a video online on Wednesday in which he claimed he had spent more than 2,000 nights in 147 five-star or luxury hotels and found hygiene problems were typical in nearly all of these chains. Afraid that the woman might lose her job, he opted not to report the incident - and even after making his video, Huazong stressed to Sixth Tone: "These employees should not be blamed; rather, it should be [the hotels' responsibility] to recognize and correct any hygiene problems".

The online community was outraged by the video, which received more than 66,000 "likes" and prompted 30,000 comments within 12 hours of its release.

China is the fastest growing major market for the world's top hotel chains as rising incomes have led to domestic travel spending increasing at double-digit rates.

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"Such poor supervision, and it's highly irresponsible to consumers", another user said. "The reason I exposed the 14 hotels in particular is that they are the most expensive, the most popular or are generally considered bench marks of the industry", he said in a Beijing News video on Thursday. The Four Seasons in Shanghai said it would improve internal training.

Tourism officials in Beijing issued a statement ordering hotels to check on what their cleaners were doing and to correct their methods if necessary. It apologised to customers and said it would retrain staff.

After the video went viral, Shangri-La Hotel in Fuzhou said that the procedure followed in the video is unhygienic and it violates the hotel's hygienic standards.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development summoned managers of the four hotels for an inquiry on Thursday.

There is a national hygiene standard for hotels that stipulates cleaning methods such as the daily changing of sheets and bedcovers.

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