WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CALIF.—As hotel brands in other parts of the world adopt smoke-free environments as their latest marketing strategy, a vast majority of European guests prefer a smoke-free hotel environment, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 European Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.
The study found that nearly 70 percent of hotel guests in Europe prefer a smoke-free environment that exceeds the boundaries of their room, which is slightly less than hotel guests in North America (79 percent). The desire for a smoke-free environment ranges from 57 percent of guests who reside in Spain, to a high of 76 percent of guests who reside in Sweden and the United Kingdom.
“As we’ve seen thus far in the United States and Canada, nonsmoking hotel environments are also slated to be very popular in Europe, and the hotel brand that serves as a trailblazer in the European market will have an extremely beneficial competitive advantage,” says Linda Hirneise, executive director of the travel practice at J.D. Power and Associates.
“For example, earlier this year, all Westin Hotels & Resort properties in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean implemented a policy of 100 percent smoke-free guest rooms and public areas,” Hirneise adds. “Additionally, in September, Marriott International Inc. also went smoke-free in their U.S. and Canadian properties. It’s only a matter of time before the trend also hits the European market.”
The study, now in its second year, measures the overall satisfaction of European hotel guests. Forty-five hotel brands were measured. The 2006 European Guest Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses from 12,090 guests who stayed at a hotel in Europe between June 2006 and September 2006.