Frequent Travelers Grade Hotel Industry on Indoor Air Quality
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More than two-thirds of frequent travelers in a recent national survey are concerned about air quality in the country's hotel rooms. These frequent travelers (defined as having stayed in a hotel at least 6 days within the past year) identified odors (68 percent of respondents) and "stuffiness" (59 percent of respondents) as being the most frequently encountered indoor air quality (IAQ) problems.
"It's estimated that Americans spend about 90 percent of their time indoors," says Alexandra Duran, marketing manager, Kimberly-Clark Filtration Products. "We move from our air-tight homes to offices with windows that don't open and other public spaces and accommodations in which people are at the mercy of a piece of equipment to filter out harmful air contaminants. Because poor IAQ has been linked to serious health problems and employee productivity issues, it's important to look for ways to minimize exposure to bad indoor air."
Sixty percent of the frequent travelers surveyed said they have experienced a range of problems - such as poor sleep, runny or stuffy nose, dry nose, sneezing, headache, cough and sore throat - as a result of staying in a hotel room with poor indoor air quality. In fact, the issue of bad hotel room IAQ is of such a concern that 42 percent of the survey respondents have actually complained to hotel management about air quality conditions in their hotel rooms.
"There are a number of things hotel operators can do to improve their indoor air quality," Duran notes. "From periodic monitoring of IAQ conditions and checking HVAC systems for mold and other contaminants to the simple act of upgrading their air filters, hotels would be well-served to make IAQ improvements a priority."
The result of improved IAQ? More than half of frequent travelers surveyed say they would become loyal customers of hotels that provide advanced in-room air filtration to minimize allergens, dust and odors.
The telephone survey of 381 frequent travelers was conducted September 15-18, 2005 by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Kimberly- Clark Filtration Products. The margin of error is +/- five percentage points