Friday, October 24, 2008

More Travelers Preferring Smoke-Free Hotels

J.D. Power and Associates recently released its 2008 European Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study results. The study, now in its fourth year, examined the overall satisfaction of European hotel guests based on seven measures (in order of importance): costs and fees; guestroom; hotel facilities; food and beverage; check-in/check-out; hotel services; and reservations. Forty-five hotel brands were measured and ranked in four segments: upper upscale, upscale, mid-scale, mid-scale full service, and economy. (Click here to see study.)

What was the most interesting finding from a green lodging perspective? The number of European hotel guests who say they prefer a nonsmoking hotel environment has increased considerably during the past two years—from 69 percent in 2006 to 84 percent in 2008. Hotel guests who reside in Spain are the most likely to report a preference for nonsmoking hotel environments—with 93 percent saying they desire nonsmoking hotels—compared with residents of other European countries. According to J.D. Power's North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, which was conducted earlier this year, nearly nine of 10 U.S. travelers (89 percent) now prefer a smoke-free hotel environment. That is up from 79 percent in 2006.

With so many travelers now preferring smoke-free environments, what is stopping hotel companies from eliminating smoking altogether? Are they afraid to lose business from that tiny percentage of travelers who still like to light up in their guestrooms? What do you think?

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