Westin became the first major hotel chain to convert all of its smoking rooms in North America to smoke-free late last year, investing more than $3 million in its smoke free initiative. The move comes as part of Westin’s commitment to guests’ personal well-being and the brand’s positioning around Renewal. Since then, Westin hotels in Australia, Fiji and Scotland have also become smoke-free.
The Breathing Lights projection on a wall or other hotel space features a blue light that pulses at the average speed of healthy human breathing, every 4.4 seconds. For a period of three months, each “breath” will tick up a counter displayed in the center of the projection, representing the number of fresh, smoke-free breaths taken in the hotel that day. On average, one person takes 11,520 breaths each day. Simultaneously, the counter will track the number of days Westin hotels have been smoke-free.
Personal Breath Counters to Mark Smoke-Free Milestones
The Westin brand will also make a personal screensaver available at westin.com/breathe for guests or others who have quit or are attempting to quit smoking. Periodic messages of affirmation will appear on the screen, timed around specific milestones, such as, “your pulse has dropped to its normal rate” and “your ability to taste and smell things is enhanced.”
“Westin went smoke-free to reinforce our brand positioning around personal renewal and for our guests, who overwhelmingly prefer a smoke-free environment when traveling,” said Sue Brush, Senior Vice President at Westin. “The Breathing Lights display provides a tangible reminder of our smoke-free decision, and shows that as time passes, the benefits of going smoke-free accrue. It’s a beautiful and highly visual way to communicate our promise to provide our guests and associates a healthy, refreshing haven.”
Westin Hotels Commemorates Its Own Smoke-Free Milestone
Westin hotels announced its intention to go smoke-free in December 2005. During the conversion, all 3,900 former Westin smoking rooms in the U.S., Canada and Caribbean underwent an extensive cleaning process that included replacing all soft goods, deep cleaning and treating all hard surfaces, walls and carpets to eliminate allergens, replacing air filters and deep cleaning all air conditioning units. This process was completed on February 1, 2006.
Westin hotels went smoke-free in response to guests, who are increasingly adopting healthy lifestyles and demanding a smoke-free hotel in which to renew their mind, body and spirit while traveling. Internal consumer research conducted in 2005 found that 92 percent of Westin guests in the U.S. were requesting smoke-free rooms at booking. The Westin brand’s research also found that 80 percent of consumers prefer when restaurants and other indoor public spaces are free of cigarette and cigar smoke.
In the six months since Westin became 100% smoke-free, the results have been overwhelmingly positive:
Westin invested more than $3 million in its smoke-free initiative including converting its hotels.
The American Heart Association recently signed a contract returning to Westin hotels as a customer after five years.
Over 40 individual hotels and one national hotel chain have gone smoke-free since Westin hotels announced its policy.
The success of the Westin smoke-free policy is spreading abroad. Westin hotels in Australia, Fiji, and Scotland have all gone smoke-free.
In a survey of Westin guests, 68% of respondents agreed that all hotels should eventually be smoke-free.
Guest response has been enthusiastic. One Starwood Preferred Guest member sent Westin hotels feedback that is typical: “I want to applaud Westin for making the bold move to become the first hotel chain to go smoke-free. I am a registered nurse that works with people with lung disease everyday, and have found it to be very frustrating for them when making travel arrangements…thank you so much for making this monumental decision that will affect the health of your patrons.”