Hotels Embrace WiFi, Healthy Living, AH&LA Survey Says

Wireless Internet access, green building and consumer health are becoming major priorities for many hotels, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), which recently released the results of its 2008 Lodging Survey.

Among the survey's findings:

* 91 percent of hotels have wireless Internet access, versus 35 percent four years ago
* Just 16 percent of hotels charge for WiFi, down from 19 percent in 2006
* 79 percent of hotels have an exercise room or fitness facility for guests
* 48 percent of hotels offer vegetarian menu options, while 66 percent have "healthy menu" options
* 24 percent of hotels offer allergy-free hotel rooms
* 68 percent of hotels use energy-efficient lighting
* 21 percent of hotels plan to incorporate Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards into their properties within the next year; 20 percent have done so already in the past year

"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 public," AH&LA President and CEO Joseph A. McInerney said in a statement. "In addition, the survey assists our members in benchmarking their properties, and vendors in determining segments that have growth opportunities for their products."

More than 10,000 U.S. hotel properties participated in the AH&LA survey, which is among the most comprehensive in the industry.