Call it a sign of the times: Westins recent
decision to no longer permit smoking in its hotels follows a
longstanding trend to cut back on the percentage of rooms that
permit smoking, according to the American Hotel & Lodging
Associations 2004 Lodging Survey.
The survey, which
is conducted periodically by the association, found hotels in the
U.S. have steadily increased their number of nonsmoking rooms over
In 1988 only 30% of
all hotel rooms were designated nonsmoking. By 1991, that
percentage had jumped to 40%.
The ratio of
nonsmoking rooms jumped from 61% in 1999 to 73% in 2004.
Hotel rooms in the
luxury category are more likely to be nonsmoking -- guests are not
allowed to smoke in about 80% of the rooms.
A total of 47,735
hotels were canvassed by questionnaire for the survey.
may be a harbinger of things to come at other hotels.
president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association,
said hotels are reflecting changing lifestyles and laws in many
cities that limit smoking in public places.
More and more
cities are becoming smoke-free, he said.
smoke-free policy is very cutting-edge and far ahead of the curve,
Douglas Shifflet, president and CEO of D.K. Shifflet &
Associates, believes other hotel chains, in time, will likely
follow Westins lead.
When Westin says,
No smoking here, then people who dont smoke are liable to think
that maybe the smokers went to the hotel down the street and it
will be worse than ever, he said.
So it could have a
compounding effect on other hotels. I think that alone will drive
other hotels to the same approach.