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Green Programs Included in New Trends Study Released by AH&LA, AH&LEF

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and its Foundation today released the definitive industry survey examining the top trends in the hotel industry, which this year is marked by personal service, healthy lifestyles and convenience. The survey, “The 2014 Lodging Study Hotel Trends: An Inside Look at Popular Amenities and Guest Services” conducted by industry data provider STR, illustrates how hotels are adapting to consumer demands by adjusting their services and amenities to take into account guests’ needs.

This survey, funded by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF), shows that in addition to advancing consumer service, hotels are also giving back, making charitable contributions and being good stewards of the environment. Environmentally-friendly programs, such as towel reuse programs, recycling capabilities and water savings programs are increasingly popular, with overwhelming majorities of hotels participating. Hotels are also giving to charities, and employees are offering their personal time to volunteer efforts.

The innovation and creativity of the hotel industry continues to benefit the guests. Travelers can expect high-speed and wireless Internet in more places, as well as in-room video on demand services and high-definition, flat screen televisions. Hotels are also prioritizing convenience and comfort with mobile check in, mobile apps, better bedding, and allergy-free rooms. The hotel guest can also expect a healthier experience, with more access to healthy menu choices, free breakfast and health facilities.

A Way to Track Innovation, Change

“Providing the highest level of quality service is paramount in our business and keeping ahead of guests’ needs is a critical component,” said Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of AH&LA. “From high-tech gadgets and amenities to charitable giving to being good stewards of our environment, the hotel industry continues to grow, innovate and accommodate changing consumer behavior. It is this flexibility and remarkable adaptability that allows the hotel to grow and thrive even as other business sectors struggle.”

“Since 1988, this survey has been the most authoritative and comprehensive benchmark of services that are so important to our industry,” said Amanda Hite, President and COO of STR. “The hotel industry continues to push for innovation, staying ahead of the curve to ensure hotel guests have an excellent experience. It has been a privilege working with AH&LA on this survey, which is a helpful guide for hoteliers, industry vendors and the traveling public.” 

Key findings include:

•    High-definition televisions in rooms are the standard with 84 percent of respondents saying that these are provided. Flat screen televisions are the norm, with 96 percent of respondents stating their facilities stock them.
•    Mobile apps for hotel service continue to grow in popularity with 33 percent of hotels offering an app for their guests.
•    Most hotels (86 percent) provide computers in the lobby for complimentary use.
•    Fewer hotels are charging for in-room Internet services. Only 11 percent of respondents charge for Internet service. This figure is down from 23 percent in 2012.
•    Ninety-three percent of respondents have a linen/towel reuse program.
•    The popularity of recycling programs continue to increase, climbing steadily and achieving 64 percent in 2014.
•    The percentage of hotels with electric car charging stations has grown to 11 percent from 5 percent just two years ago.
•    Eighty-four percent of participating hotels contribute to charities, and the majority of hotels (84 percent) make in-kind contributions of roomnights, meeting space, goods or services.
•    Eighty-two percent of hotels offer complimentary breakfast. An all-time high of respondents (74 percent) stated that they provide healthy menu choices.
•    Conversely, fewer hotels are offering newspaper delivery, in-room DVD players, and minibars. Jacuzzis are also on the decline.

This is one of the longest-running surveys of its kind. The 2014 Lodging Survey is conducted every two years, and with more than 9,600 participants, it is the most comprehensive analysis of the trends in the hotel and lodging industry based on direct feedback from hotels. Respondents are also representative of the geographic makeup of the hotel industry.

AH&LA members may download a free copy from AH&LA’s Members Only section. Log in as a member and click “Publications.” Nonmembers can purchase the entire survey for $1,500 or request individual data points for $300 each through AH&LA’s Information Center, which can be reached at (888) 743-2515.

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