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Some Surprising Results in Lodging Survey Report

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NATIONAL REPORT—As reported on Green Lodging News, the American Hotel & Lodging Assn. (AHLA) has released the results of its 2018 Lodging Survey. This comprehensive survey is conducted every two years by industry data provider and AHLA partner STR. The survey is funded by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation. The survey included all properties in the United States with 10 or more guestrooms—nearly 56,000 U.S. properties. With just under 11,500 responses, the overall survey completion rate for the 2018 survey was 21 percent, a gain of six percentage points from 2016.

Nine questions fell under “Sustainability,” but other categories included sustainability-related questions. The following is a summary of the survey results that relate to green lodging:

  • The percentage of respondents who said they provide allergy-free rooms to guests: 28 percent. This is down from 30 percent in 2016 and 45 percent in 2014. The chain scale most likely to offer these types of rooms: luxury.
  • The percentage of respondents who said they provide an air purifier in the guestroom: 11 percent. This is down from 13 percent in 2016 and 21 percent in 2014. In 2010, 25 percent said they offered air purifiers. The chain scale most likely to offer air purifiers: luxury.
  • The percentage of respondents who said they have a towel/linen reuse program: 95 percent. This is up from 52 percent in 2004. All chain scales but one (independent at 83 percent) had more than 90 percent saying they have such a program.
  • The percentage of respondents who said they have an energy management sensor in the room: 16 percent. This is down from 48 percent in 2016. The chain scale most likely to offer energy management sensors: luxury. The chain scale least likely to offer energy management sensors: economy.
  • The percentage of respondents who said they offer a recycling program: 53 percent. This is down from 63 percent in 2016. The chain scale most likely to offer recycling: luxury. The chain scale least likely to offer recycling: economy.

Amenities Recycling Takes Dip?

  • The percentage of respondents who said their properties have an amenities recycling program: 25 percent. In 2016: 47 percent. The chain scale most likely to have an amenities recycling program: upper upscale. The chain scale least likely to have an amenities recycling program: economy.
  • The percentage of hotels with LED energy-efficient lighting: 90 percent. The chain scale most likely to LED lighting: economy. The chain scale least likely to have it: independent.
  • The percentage of hotels with a water saving program: 65 percent. That is down from 77 percent in 2016. The chain scale most likely to have such a program: upper upscale. The chain scale least likely to have it: independent.
  • The percentage of hotels with a whole building energy management system: 14 percent. That is down from 33 percent in 2016. From 2016 to 2018, “Whole building energy management system” was revised to “Whole building energy management system monitoring equipment/utilities; works standalone or with Building Management/Automation System (BMS/BAS) that controls building HVAC and lighting.” The chain scale most likely to have such a system: luxury. The chain scale least likely to have it: economy.
  • The percentage of hotels with a green certification: 25 percent. That is up from 16 percent in 2016. The chain scale most likely to have certification: luxury. The chain scale least likely to have it: economy.
  • The percentage of hotels with shampoo/conditioner dispensers in the shower: 8 percent. That is down from 10 percent in 2016. The chain scale most likely to have dispensers: independent. The chain scale least likely to have them: economy.
  • For the first time hoteliers were asked if they have a food waste reduction and management program. The chain scale most likely to have such programs: luxury. The chain scale least likely to have them: economy.
  • The percentage of hotels with a vegetarian menu increased from 28 percent in 2016 to 35 percent in 2018. The chain scale most likely to offer vegetarian: luxury. The chain scale least likely to have them: economy.

More Hotels Offering EV Charging Stations

  • The percentage of hotels with an electric car charging station: 13 percent. That is up from 8 percent in 2016. The chain scale most likely to offer EV charging: luxury. The chain scale least likely to offer it: economy.
  • The percentage of hotels with a 100 percent nonsmoking building: 63 percent. The word “building” was added in 2018. The chain scale(s) most likely to be smoke free: luxury and upscale. The chain scale least likely to be smoke: economy, with just 27 percent.
  • The percentage of hotels with a free newspaper delivered to the room: just 8 percent. Previously the question omitted “to the room.” In 2006, 83 percent of respondents said they delivered a free newspaper. The chain scale most likely to deliver a paper: luxury. The chain scale least likely to deliver one: economy, at zero percent.
  • The percentage of hotels incorporating LEED in the next 12 months if major structural renovations are planned: 14 percent, slightly down from 16 percent in 2016. The chain scale most likely to pursue LEED: luxury. The chain scale least likely to pursue it: economy.
  • The percentage of hotels that incorporated LEED in major structural renovations in past 12 months: 13 percent, the same percentage as 2016. The chain scale that pursued LEED most: luxury. The chain scale that pursued LEED least: economy.
  • For the first time, hoteliers were asked whether they give guests the opportunity to donate to charities. Thirty-eight percent of those from luxury hotels said they do. Only 8 percent of economy properties offer guests the opportunity.
  • The percentage of hotels that give to charities dropped from 85 percent in 2016 to 70 percent in 2018. The chain scale most likely to donate to charity: upper upscale. The chain scale least likely to donate: economy.
  • The percentage of hotels that donate cash to charities increased from 31 percent in 2016 to 45 percent in 2018. The chain scale most likely to donate cash: luxury. The chain scale least likely to donate: economy.
  • The percentage of hotels that make in-kind contributions increased from 72 percent in 2016 to 74 percent in 2018. The chain scale most likely to donate: luxury. The chain scale least likely to donate: economy.
  • The percentage of hotels that contribute volunteer hours to charity grew from 59 percent in 2014 to 67 percent in 2018. The chain scale most likely to donate time: upper upscale. The chain scale least likely to donate time: economy.
  • The percentage of hotels with a wall-mounted thermostat in the room fell from 81 percent in 2014 to 62 percent in 2018. Ninety-nine percent of upper upscale respondents said they have the thermostats while only 5 percent of economy respondents said they do.
  • Survey respondents said 97 percent of guestrooms are nonsmoking.

Glenn Hasek can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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