Lose the laptop and bag your Blackberry - today`s hottest travel accessories are a pair of sneakers and some sweats. An innovative study of business travelers conducted by Lieberman Research Worldwide for Westin Hotels & Resorts finds that working out on the road is an excellent way to relieve stress, a powerful antidote for jet lag and good for your image among business associates. However, many respondents stated that hotels do not offer adequate fitness facilities for travelers. To combat the fitness obstacles travelers often face on the road, Westin has partnered with Reebok to introduce the “WestinWORKOUT(SM) Powered by Reebok.”
The survey of 300 business travelers titled “Road Runners: Working out on the Road,” illustrates just how important exercise is to hotel guests. For instance:
— 90% of travelers surveyed said exercise relieves stress on the
— 60% of travelers surveyed said exercise helps alleviate jet
— 78% of travelers surveyed said workouts are a good way to get
over a rough day
— 70% of travelers surveyed said that working out is a good way
to bond with colleagues
— 53% of travelers surveyed said exercising is good for their image among business
— 62% of travelers surveyed said they check to see whether a
hotel has a workout room during the reservation process
— 59% of travelers surveyed said that the quality of hotel
fitness facilities is an important factor in their choice of
— 69% said that a “state-of-the-art” fitness facility would
favor that hotel in the selection process
While working out on the road is important to travelers, hotel fitness rooms could be in better shape according to travelers surveyed:
— 61% of travelers surveyed have encountered hotels without
— 53% of travelers surveyed said they didn`t like the workout
— 49% of travelers surveyed have encountered broken equipment in
hotel fitness rooms
— 64% of travelers surveyed said hotel fitness centers feel like
— 75% of travelers surveyed said the quality of hotel workout
rooms are inconsistent from one hotel to the next
— 55% of travelers surveyed have decided not to use a hotel
workout room because it was in such bad condition
— 41% of travelers surveyed said the facilities were too crowded
— 46% of travelers surveyed said the workout room was closed
when they needed it
“Working out on the road is a priority for many travelers but hotels have typically cut corners in hotel workout rooms, cramming mediocre, aging equipment in a small space with absolutely no frills,” said Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) who works out four days a week and always packs his workout gear when traveling on business.
In an effort to up the ante in the hotel-fitness arena, Westin has partnered with sports giant Reebok to develop a fitness and wellness program for travelers called WestinWORKOUT Powered by Reebok. Rolling out in all Westin hotels in North America, WestinWORKOUT includes new custom-designed fitness rooms with brand new LifeFitness and Precor strength and cardio equipment; cardio theater technology including flat screen TVs and individual viewing screens on cardio equipment; and digital music options. Each WestinWORKOUT room also features a Reebok Core Training Zone with special equipment by Reebok including Core Boards, medicine balls, stability balls, resistance bands, and a selection of integrated 20/40/60 minute workout programs created by fitness experts at Reebok University exclusively for Westin guests
In addition, the fitness experts at Reebok University have also developed an innovative in-room workout centered around Westin`s renowned Heavenly Bed(R). The Heavenly Bed Yoga workout is a yoga and Pilates inspired regiment that can be done literally in bed. The Heavenly Bed Workout will be available in all Westin guestrooms on the brand`s custom TV channel.
“We are excited to work with Westin on such an innovative approach to fitness,” said Kathy O`Connell Johnson, Reebok`s vice president of women`s performance marketing. “Our goal is to enhance the traveler`s experience while on the road and provide them with the tools to help them stay committed to their workout routine.”
Other findings from “Road Runners: Working Out on the Road” include:
— 40% of travelers surveyed said they eat more on the road
— 17% of travelers surveyed said they gain weight when traveling
— 37% of travelers surveyed said they feel more stress on the
road than at home
— 26% of travelers surveyed said that working out on the road is
a good way to meet people.
— 50% of travelers surveyed workout in their hotel rooms on
occasion and when in the privacy of their own rooms, most
travelers work out in shorts and a t-shirt (95%) but 30% admit
to working out in their underwear and 11% have even worked out
naked in their hotel room!
— 30% of travelers surveyed have skipped business social
gatherings to sneak in a workout.
Westin Hotels & Resorts, with 120 hotels and resorts in 30 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 740 properties in more than 80 countries and 105,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchiser of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.westin.com.
Reebok International Ltd. (NYSE:RBK), headquartered in Canton, MA., is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of sports, fitness and casual footwear, apparel and equipment under the Reebok, Rockport and Greg Norman brands and footwear under the Polo Ralph Lauren brand. Sales for 2002 totaled approximately $3.1 billion. Reebok can be accessed on the World Wide Web at www.reebok.com
*Survey participants, 150 men and 150 women, have stayed at least two consecutive nights at a hotel in the past year and exercised while on the business trip. In practice, most respondents stayed many more nights than the qualifying threshold, averaging over ten nights in the past year. The survey was conducted via the telephone from September 2- 15,2003. With a sample this size (n=300) results have a margin of error attributable to a sample size of +/- 6 percentage points on totals. Smaller subgroups therefore have a higher margin of error.