Westin chain goes smoke-free
Westin will become the first hotel chain to introduce a brand wide smoke-free policy. Effective January 2006, all 77 hotels in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean will go smoke-free. The brand’s new policy is a result of customer data and a clear demand from guests for a healthy, smoke-free hotel experience. This will apply to all guestrooms and public areas.
“At the heart of all of our decisions is the comfort, well-being and quality of life for our guests,” said Sue Brush, senior vice president for the chain.
“We view our hotels as a retreat from the rigors of travel. Our goal is to provide a place where guests can relax and restore their mind, body and spirit in a healthy way.”
In preparation for implementation of the new policy, 2,400 smoking rooms will undergo an extensive cleaning process.
This includes 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. All Westin hotels and resorts will offer a designated outdoor area for guests who smoke.
“Industry research, as well as our own research, confirmed a clear consumer demand for a clean, smoke free hotel environment,” says Brush.
Westin consumer data showed that 92 percent of its guests request a non-smoking room when traveling and do not smoke in any part of the hotel, including public areas. In addition, Westin conducted a poll that shows the majority of consumers who travel prefer a smoke-free environment.
The poll found that 86 percent agree that creating a non-smoking environment is an important first step in creating a healthier environment and 80 percent prefer when restaurants and other indoor public spaces are free of cigarette and cigar smoke.
In addition, Westin has eight hotels in its portfolio that have a smoke-free policy in place, which has resulted in overwhelming positive feedback from guests.
“We applaud Westin for taking this visionary step on behalf of their guests,” said Cheryl Healton, CEO of the American Legacy Foundation, with whom Westin is working to create the brand’s nationwide non-smoking environment.
“Westin’s patrons and staff will benefit enormously from this effort to improve the quality of life for everyone associated with the Westin brand. Like the airlines, we hope it will one day be possible for all hotels to be smoke-free”.
“More U.S. cities are becoming smoke-free and for an entire hotel chain to take this stand is very cutting edge and far ahead of the curve,” said Joseph A. Mcinerney, CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.