Revisiting The Smoke-Free Option

Revisiting The Smoke-Free Option

August 7, 2009

I don’t think a lot of consumers have given much thought to whether a hotel that markets and/or positions itself as green should also be 100% non smoking, but they may in the future.

I do think it is fairly safe to say that more consumers are interested in staying at a 100% non-smoking hotel than at a green hotel, but both trends are continuing to strengthen. In the 2008 J.D. Power North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study, 89% of guests surveyed said they preferred staying in a smoke-free hotel environment. In the press release regarding the 2009 J.D. Power North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study, this trend was not mentioned. Did they stop surveying regarding this question because it is now almost a given?

In 2007, FreshStay listed 400-plus Choice Hotels, primarily Comfort Suites and Cambria Suites, as 100% non-smoking.  FresStau now feature over 1,250 Choice Hotel branded properties as members. FreshStay receives regular monthly updates from Hilton and Marriott and their numbers are growing quickly as well.

Comfort Suites continues its industry leadership today, also having been the first hotel company (in 1984) to include non-smoking rooms in every one of its worldwide properties.

An interesting study for a Master’s thesis would be the following? How many guests/consumers will not consider booking a room in a hotel that offers any (even less than 5%) smoking rooms? Also, how will your hotel or hotel company be perceived by prospective guests if you are one of the last hotels or hotel companies to embrace this trend? What will your guest satisfaction scores look like regarding cleanliness, which is closely aligned with odor? I suspect the answer is a very large percentage.

Why? Because you have not heard of hotels retracting or rescinding their 100% smoke-free policies, even in this difficult economy.

If you would like to follow me on Twitter it is @RayBurger.

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