The Impact of Smoking on Hotel Guests

Oracle integration with Rest

Hotels serve as a home away from home for travelers, providing comfort and relaxation during their stay. Hotels began adopting no-smoking policies when health hazards associated with smoking increased. These policies date back to the 1970s and 1980s when an increase in scientific evidence linking smoking to health issues and secondhand smoke exposure were found. And by the 2000s, many hotels expanded their no-smoking policy to encompass entire properties so that they could become entirely-smoke free. 

Today 2.3% of bad reviews include a complaint about smoking. 

Guests want a stay that feels clean and air quality plays a big part in that. With the increase in the legalization of marijuana, you can stay at a hotel in a legalized city, and the smell of marijuana floats through the hallways. 

We estimate that 80% of guests are non-smokers, therefore a large majority of those staying at the hotel would find the smell of smoke, in hallways or their room, to be unpleasant. 

Wellness has and is a huge part of our world today. Research shows that continued growth of consumer interest in health and wellness continues to grow, with spend on wellness products and services to be more than $450 billion in 2022 and growing at more than 5% annually [Source: McKinsey Report]

Wellness continues to be a growing priority and hotels should continue to put a focus on it to increase guest satisfaction. 

Unenforced Smoking Policies Leads to: 

  • Health Concerns for Guests – Guests could be worried about their kids and exposure to smoking can trigger asthma attacks or allergies for those guests with increased sensitivies. For many guests, staying in a smoke-free environment is not just a preference but a  matter of personal well-being

  • Unpleasant Odors in the Hotel - The lingering smell of smoke can permeate from rooms to common areas. This unwelcome smell can be a deterrent for repeat guests and lead to poor reviews. The distinctive odor can be difficult to also eliminate, leading to discomfort and dissatisfaction.

  • Guest Complaints – The hotel staff is already busy and wants to focus on providing a great experience. Guest complaints around smoking can be difficult to resolve. Without being able to enforce or pinpoint which guests is violating the policy staff are left to comp nights, move guests around or intrude on a stay by having secruity track down the violator. 

Many guests are so upset by the smell because they associate it with an unclean hotel or room. Leading to a lot of the reviews about smoking or the smell of smoke being 1 star. Like the example below on TripAdvisor:

TripAdvisor 1-Star Review from Smoke Issue

Based on multiple sources approximately 17% of the population smokes cigarettes and e-cigarettes. When combined with the data that Rest has gathered, we estimate that close to 5% of the smoking population is actively deciding to smoke inside their hotel room. And the majority of those individuals are not charged, effectively rendering the no-smoking policy unenforced.

Unenforced policies continue to lead to unpleasant experiences for guests, bad reviews and decreased customer loyalty. 

Enforcing a smoking policy is the first step in creating a continuous and permanent smoke-free environment. 

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to receive the latest blog posts to your inbox every week.

By subscribing you agree to receive communications from Rest.