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Indoor Air Quality and the Hospitality Industry

The Environmental Protection Agency says that the air indoors is 4 to 100 times more polluted than the air outdoors, even the outdoor air of the most polluted cities like Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles. And the air quality in your guestrooms is very likely more polluted and more dirty than most people's homes. Particulates, odors, molds, bacteria, and cleaning fumes are all trapped in your guest rooms--even your most exclusive rooms.

You may not be able to see the dirt, but it's there. And your guests can feel and smell the dirtiness. Cleaning fumes and deodorizers only mask odors and many of your guests have allergies or sensitivities for these chemicals. Guests notice dust, mold and bacteria when they breathe.Most hotel rooms have little fresh air exchange. Mold and bacteria thrive in an environment of vinyl wall paper and shower steam. According to The Wall Street Journal article, many guests feel worse when they wake up. The typical symptoms travelers experience are sore throats, headaches, and burning eyes. These symptoms are likely reactions to poor indoor air quality.

The condition of poor Indoor Air Quality in hotels becomes a financial and marketing problem once we consider people with respiratory problems. The American Lung Association estimates that this number will increase to 3 out of 5 people by the year 2003. This translates into an average of one person with respiratory difficulties per family. As hotels rush to accommodate the health and environmental concerns of their patrons, they cannot ignore the very obvious and universal concern with air quality

Benefits of Clean Air

Clean air is not only an amenity like ironing boards and hair dryers: It's a necessity. Since hotel rooms generally have worse air quality than most people's homes and since many guests come from smoke-free communities, hotels and resorts cannot afford to overlook their indoor air quality. Customers will notice.

Cleaner Lobbies/Casinos and Increased Profits

A cleaner atmosphere means more comfortable guests and happier clientele. They will spend more time enjoying their gaming experience, casino attractions, restaurants and other entertainment available to them. For casinos, "longer stay time equals longer play time." And, satisfied guests are more likely to be repeat customers
who will refer family, friends and colleagues.

Reduction of Heating/Cooling Costs

Hotels and casinos bring a percentage of outdoor air into their establishments. This outdoor air is not so "fresh." It contains pollen, mold, dust, exhaust, and odors that contaminate the air in your establishment.

Outdoor air is also expensive. Over a year, each cubic foot of outdoor air brought into your facility costs between $1.50 and $2.00 to condition. Implementing an air quality program may reduce the need to bring in as much outdoor air, according to ASHRAE standards. Air cleaning will also help to protect expensive air handling equipment from pollution damage.

Cleaner Guestrooms

Guests will feel more comfortable and have a better quality sleep in a room where the air is filtered. Their sleep will not be hampered by dust, smoke, odors, molds and other airborne contaminants that can be removed with effective air cleaning. According to The National Sleep Foundation more than 50% of the population have lower energy levels due to lack of sleep, most of which is attributed to respiratory factors.

By providing a cleaner room environment, your guests will be well rested. Well rested guests have higher energy levels and they will be more likely to engage in hotel activities.

Reduction of Maintenance Costs

Maintaining smoking guest rooms is costly, as are sectioning off smoking sections in lobbies, casinos and restaurants. Pollution damage costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars each year in repairs, maintenance and employee absenteeism.

Effective air cleaning will remove tobacco smoke and other contaminants. Tobacco smoke will have less of an opportunity to permeate carpets, drapes, upholstery, bedding, or settle on to surfaces, therefore, decreasing stale
odors, yellowing and staining. When smokers ask for non-smoking rooms, your business will not be affected when you use quality air cleaning techniques. And there is less of a need to separate facilities when effective air cleaning is in place.

Fewer Complaints

Lobbies, gaming areas, restaurants, and bars that are free from tobacco smoke and other airborne contaminants will result in fewer complaints. Guests who do not smoke will not be bothered so much by your smoking guests and will, therefore, be less likely to complain. You do not want your guests' enjoyment to be deminished by those who smoke.

Improve Market Share

Implementing effective air cleaning within your establishment shows you care about those guests who have health concerns with regard to indoor air quality and second hand tobacco smoke. You will also have an opportunity to market to those with allergy and asthma who make up about 43% of the population! These numbers are projected to increase to as much as 60% in the next few years! You will have endless opportunity to make current and future guests aware of your concern for their health, safety and comfort through websites, billboards, brochures, in-room table tents, and much more.




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