More hotels offering guests a breath of fresh air

NEW YORK • An increasing number of hotels around the world are now providing guests the option to book rooms with filtration and purification systems that minimise threats of air pollution and offer cleaner air.

"Interior air quality can be abysmal," said Ms Beth McGroarty, research director for The Global Wellness Institute, a non-profit organisation for the wellness industry. "Hotels are combating this by installing in some of their rooms high-tech systems that improve the air their guests are breathing."

According to data released last year by the World Health Organisation, nine in 10 people globally breathe polluted air. Many top urban destinations have been recognised for unhealthy smog conditions.

And travellers with respiratory conditions or allergies may especially benefit from breathing cleaner air. Most hotel properties charge a higher nightly rate for their clean-air rooms and a stay can be 5 to 7 per cent more expensive.

Last month, the InterContinental San Francisco installed air purifiers in 30 of its 556 rooms following last year's wildfires in Paradise, California, about a three-hour drive away.

"Even though the wildfires weren't near the city, they affected the air quality, and many of our guests asked us for masks and filters because they had breathing difficulties," said Mr Harry Hobbs, an area director of engineering for InterContinental Hotels.

"After this initial trial, I want to offer cleaner air in more rooms and more hotels."

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2019, with the headline 'More hotels offering guests a breath of fresh air'. Print Edition | Subscribe