Sokos Hotels to be granted the Allergy Label

Sokos Hotels is the first accommodation company in Finland to be granted the right to use the Allergy Label of the Allergy and Asthma Federation.

Sokos Hotels is the first accommodation company in Finland to be granted the right to use the Allergy Label of the Allergy and Asthma Federation. Six years of development have resulted in improved indoor air in hotel rooms and changes in the interior decoration and cleaning material used. Currently, 30 Sokos Hotels have received the label and the goal of the chain is that all its hotels in Finland would gain the right to use it.

The Allergy and Asthma Federation and Sokos Hotels launched a joint development project in 2006. The project has particularly improved indoor air quality, surface and interior decoration material, and cleaning methods and agents. A special focus has been on having easy-care interior decoration material of a high quality. In addition to odour-free cleaning agents, Sokos Hotels now also provides odour-free personal hygiene products, and rooms suitable for pets and smokers are located on designated floors for more convenient accommodation of those with allergies.

"We wanted to highlight comfort and the well-being aspect as service factors, and thus provide our hotel guests with a more comprehensive service. For us and the entire accommodation sector, the well-being aspect is a new way of considering the quality of the service. For example, cleaner room air makes all our customers happy. The goal is that you sleep at our hotels at least as well as you do at home," says Peter Jung, Concept and Development Director of SOK Travel Industry Chain Management.

Up to 50% of Finns suffer from temporary or permanent allergies. The Allergy and Asthma Federation has specified the criteria of the Allergy Label for hotel rooms. The goal of the Federation is to improve the travelling quality of those with allergies and asthma and to encourage consumers to travel. 

"Our goals has been to eliminate the 'allergy room' term from the market and to thoroughly improve the quality of accommodation services in Finland. We want to bust the myths related to allergy and to also increase know-how related to it in the tourism sector," says Niki Alanko, Communication Services Director of the Allergy and Asthma Federation.

The Allergy and Asthma Federation, and the Allergy Label
The Allergy and Asthma Federation is a health organisation which improves the life quality of Finns. Services include allergy counselling, indoor air and repair counselling, rehabilitation and training.

The purpose of the Allergy Label is to improve the quality of life of those allergies and asthma. Services with the Allergy Label have been developed by taking into account the clear benefit from the allergy viewpoint.

www.allergia.fiwww.allergiatunnus.fi

Criteria for the Allergy Label
A hotel can apply for the Allergy Label for some hotel rooms or the entire hotel. The criteria are assessed room- and floor-specifically.

1. Smoking and rooms where animals are allowed
Most hotel rooms must be smoke-free. If the hotel has rooms where smoking and/or animals are allowed, they must be located in a designated area of the hotel, which other customers are not required to pass by unnecessarily. In addition, sufficient ventilation to other rooms is ensured. The rooms in question are also cleaned using separate cleaning equipment. 

2. Ventilation

  • ventilation must meet the guide values for incoming and exhaust air flow (10l/s, person and 1l/s, square metre)
  • the ventilation system is cleaned every five years and maintained on a regular basis
  • the filtering of incoming air must be at least of class F 7
  •  room temperature in winter is 21.5C +-1C, and in summer <27C (adjustable)

3. Interior decoration and surface material

  • the surfaces do not gather much dust and are easy to clean
  • the interior decoration textiles are smooth and washable
  • the bed linen is in a good condition and can be washed in 60 degrees
  • there are no actual plants in the room (suitable ones are also available when selected)
  • new construction/renovation uses M1 construction material

4. Cleaning

  • the washing and cleaning agents used are odour-free
  • the cleaning equipment is clean and separate from other spaces (rooms where animals and smoking are allowed), and the vacuum cleaner is a central vacuum cleaner or one with a HEPA filter.
  • daily cleaning is carried out in the rooms with damp wiping as per the degree of use
  • upper dust is wiped as required (every six months is recommended)
  • bed linen is washed as per the room's degree of use (annually)
  • other interior decoration textiles are vacuumed or washed as required (annually)

5. Odour-free personal hygiene products
The personal hygiene products in the bathrooms are also available as odour-free alternatives.


Sokos Hotels which are granted the Allergy Label
Espoo: Original Sokos Hotel Tapiola Garden
Helsinki: Original Sokos Hotel Albert, Helsinki, Presidentti and Vaakuna, Solo Sokos Hotel Torni
Joensuu: Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Jyväskylä: Solo Sokos Hotel Paviljonki
Kokkola: Original Sokos Hotel Kaarle
Koli: Break Sokos Hotel Koli
Kotka: Original Sokos Hotel Seurahuone
Kouvola: Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Kuopio: Original Sokos Hotel Puijonsarvi
Lahti: Solo Sokos Hotel Seurahuone
Levi: Break Sokos Hotel Levi
Mikkeli: Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Nurmes: Break Sokos Hotel Bomba
Oulu: Original Sokos Hotel Arina and Break Sokos Hotel Eden
Rovaniemi: Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Salo: Original Sokos Hotel Rikala
Savonlinna: Original Sokos Hotel Seurahuone
Seinäjoki: Original Sokos Hotel Lakeus and Vaakuna
Tahkovuori: Break Sokos Hotel Tahkovuori
Tampere: Original Sokos Hotel Ilves and Villa, Solo Sokos Hotel Torni Tampere
Turku: Original Sokos Hotel Hamburger Börs and Seurahuone
Vaasa: Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Vantaa: Break Sokos Hotel Flamingo
Vuokatti: Break Sokos Hotel Vuokatti

Fully smoke-free Sokos Hotels
Espoo: Original Sokos Hotel Tapiola Garden
Helsinki: Original Sokos Hotel Albert, Helsinki, Pasila and Vaakuna, Solo Sokos Hotel Torni
Hämeenlinna: Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Iisalmi: Original Sokos Hotel Koljonvirta
Joensuu: Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Jyväskylä: Original Sokos Hotel Alexandra and Solo Sokos Hotel Paviljonki
Kokkola: Original Sokos Hotel Kaarle
Koli: Break Sokos Hotel Koli
Kotka: Original Sokos Hotel Seurahuone
Kouvola: Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Kuopio: Original Sokos Hotel Puijonsarvi
Kuusamo : Original Sokos Hotel Kuusamo
Lahti: Solo Sokos Hotel Seurahuone
Lappeenranta: Original Sokos Hotel Lappee
Levi : Break Sokos Hotel Levi
Mikkeli: Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Oulu: Original Sokos Hotel Arina and Break Sokos Hotel Eden
Rovaniemi: Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Savonlinna: Original Sokos Hotel Seurahuone
Seinäjoki: Original Sokos Hotel Lakeus and Vaakuna
Tahkovuori: Break Sokos Hotel Tahkovuori
Tampere: Original Sokos Hotel Ilves and Villa, Solo Sokos Hotel Torni Tampere
Turku: Original Sokos Hotel City Börs, Hamburger Börs and Seurahuone
Vantaa: Break Sokos Hotel Flamingo
Vuokatti: Break Sokos Hotel Vuokatti