Home Publisher's Point of View Selling Clean Air to Guests: Like Selling Ice to Eskimos?

Selling Clean Air to Guests: Like Selling Ice to Eskimos?


Will an allergy-friendly room ever become an expected option when a traveler books a hotel room? It just might. As detailed in an article posted on Green Lodging News this past week, there are now more than 250 hotels in North America that, as part of an allergy-friendly room marketing program, offer a block of guestrooms that include at least an air filtration device in each guestroom to eliminate airborne bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants. (See article.) Guests are paying up to $24 more a night to stay in these types of rooms. Last year Hyatt Hotels & Resorts committed to adopt Pure Solutions’ PURE Rooms program in all of its full-service hotels in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. Almost all of those 130 properties now offer allergy-friendly rooms.

What Pure Solutions started and what at least one other company—UV Flu Technology—is pursuing, is genius. I would rank it up there in the selling ice to an Eskimo category but in a positive, twisted kind of way. Who ever thought that we, as an industry, would have to offer our guests—those with asthma, allergies, chemical sensitivities, etc.—a special room where they could actually breathe and sleep comfortably? The truth is, however, that one in four people have either asthma or some form of respiratory allergy.

The growing popularity of these rooms says a lot about our environment, our health, and what we allow in our guestrooms.

The Air We All Breathe

The air we breathe is just not clean thanks to many things—soot from power plants that burn coal, emissions from industrial facilities, vehicles, and, to a much lesser degree, particles produced by Mother Nature—plants, trees, etc. Guests staying in hotel rooms bring along disease, cigarette smoke, their pets, perfumes, dust and other airborne items. For years as an industry we have not been helping indoor air quality by purchasing furniture, floor coverings, wall coverings, paints and other items that emit volatile organic compounds. (I would rather not know how often hotel guestroom carpeting is properly cleaned.)

We owe it to our guests to provide a healthy guestroom environment. That means all guests. If it means allocating a floor as allergy friendly, so be it. Don’t be surprised when that floor sells out faster than any other part of your property.

In an economic environment that remains challenging for many, charging more to stay in an air-purified room is a great idea. If I were a hotel owner, I would make every room in my hotel an allergy-friendly room. It is not just travelers with maladies that appreciate clean air.

Are you currently selling cleaner air to guests? I would love to learn how that is working for your property. And, if you have any plans to develop an entire hotel with the kind of air purification offered by companies like those mentioned above, contact me. I will gladly write about your project. I can be reached at (440) 243-2055 or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Green Lodging News Adds Totally Green as Directory Partner

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Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (440) 243-2055, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Planning Advertising for 2012?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2012. Many excellent spots are available on the website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2012 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (440) 243-2055, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. A media kit can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all of those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

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