press release

2008 AH&LA LODGING SURVEY STATISTICS SUPPORT NEW HOTEL TRENDS
Survey of More Than 10,000 U.S. Properties Unveils Trends in Technology, Health- and Eco-Conscious Travel

Washington, June 16, 2006 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) releases its 2008 Lodging Survey, one of the most comprehensive industry-wide surveys of its kind, revealing notable trends in all segments of U.S. hotels.  Funded by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) and conducted by Smith Travel Research, the research analyzes feedback from more than 10,000 U.S. hotel properties polled in more than 100 areas of hotels, including types of in-room amenities, security and technology features, food and beverage options, number of beds, guest services, and property offerings.  Additionally, this year’s survey included green initiative analysis for the first time.

Among the many major findings, the survey revealed the following:

New technologies are becoming more common:

  • Wireless Internet access is represented in 91 percent of responding properties, up 35 percent from just four years earlier; 
  • The number of hotels that charge for in-room Internet use is on the decline.  Sixteen percent of hotels charge for this service, down from 19 percent in 2006 and 22 percent in 2004;
  • 35 percent of respondents offer iPod docking stations in-room;  Upper upscale (76 percent) and luxury hotels (58 percent) are the most likely to offer this new amenity.

Hotels are getting healthier:

  • Seventy-nine percent of responding properties have an exercise room and/or fitness facility, and 77 percent of these are complimentary for guests;
  • The number of respondents who offer vegetarian menu options rose 16 percentage points to 48 percent.  The number of hotels offering ‘healthy menu’ options also rose 15 points to 66 percent;
  • Twenty-four percent of respondents offer allergy-free hotel rooms.

Properties are shading operations with a greener hue:

  • Sixty-eight percent of properties report using energy-efficient lighting;
  • Twenty-one percent of respondents are planning to incorporate Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards into their properties in the next 12 months; Twenty percent note they have already incorporated LEED elements during the past 12 months.

“Due to its large sample size and the sophisticated analytic breakdown by market segment in this well-rounded report, the 2008 Lodging Survey provides the largest representative sampling and view of trends in the American lodging industry,” said AH&LA President/CEO Joseph A. McInerney, CHA. “This information identifies key trends that will come to affect the industry in upcoming years, and provides essential information on how the changing face of hotel amenities, facilities, and programs impact the traveling American public. In addition, the survey assists our members in benchmarking their properties, and vendors in determining segments that have growth opportunities for their products.”

“We are thrilled that this study has been recognized as one of the most comprehensive analyses of the total domestic lodging industry, and has been since the Educational Foundation began its funding in 1998,” said Joori Jeon, CPA, CAE, AH&LEF president/COO.  “To date, AH&LEF's research program has funded more than $2.4 million in like research studies to benefit the industry.”

Comparisons can be made dating back to the first AH&LA Lodging Survey in 1988.  As with past surveys, the biennial 2008 study was conducted by Smith Travel Research.

AH&LA members can download a copy of the 2008 Lodging Survey via the Members Only section of the AH&LA Website, www.ahla.com.  Individual data points are available for sale for $250 each from the AH&LA Information Center at (888) 743-2515.  Press interested in an index of research questions and more detailed statistics can contact Jessica Soklow, AH&LA manager of media relations, at (202) 289-3153 or jsoklow@ahla.com.

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AH&LEF is the charitable fund-raising and endowed fund-management subsidiary of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Founded in 1953, AH&LEF is the premier organization for scholarships, professional certification, and instructional material as well as funding for hospitality industry research. For more information, visit www.ahlef.org.

Serving the hospitality industry for nearly a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.