The more consumers learn about the impact of poor air quality on their health, the more alarmed they become.

Stats from the European Heart Journal this year revealed that the average person in Europe loses two years of their life due to the effects of air pollution.

Airborne viruses, bacteria, chemicals, dust particles and microplastics inhaled on a regular basis contribute to heart and lung disease, as well as the development of allergies in children.

Worryingly, according to a World Health Organisation report in 2018, 95% of the world’s population live in areas where outdoor air quality exceeds the Air Quality Guidelines.

Indoor air quality can also be harmful and activities such as cleaning and cooking at high heat produce harmful chemicals that make a bad situation even worse.

Against this backdrop, a new luxury market has emerged that is flourishing, particularly in the world’s worst polluted cities.

As the perception of pure indoor air being a luxury grows, so will the expectation for hotels, restaurants and retail outlets to offer it as part of the service. Click To Tweet

The Cordis Hotel in Shanghai has introduced rooms and spa areas equipped with air purification systems that offer guests the assurance that the air they breathe during their stay at the hotel is pure.

The Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles and the Oberoi in New Delhi have also started to offer this extra perk.

The perception of fresh air as a luxury is gaining momentum. Last year, Stella McCartney opened her London flagship store, billing it as the most sustainable store in the capital.

In order to heighten consumer perception of the company as a luxury brand in tune with nature, it installed a bespoke indoor rockery along with nano-carbon filter technology to remove 95% of air pollutants and ensure the air in the store is as clean as possible.

We could have done anything up there, but for me to be able to have a garden inside a building in Bond Street just feels so luxurious

Says McCartney

As the health and wellness trends continue to build, and air pollution worsens, the notion of fresh air being a luxury must-have is growing too.

The Oxygym in Beijing is another business that has turned the fact that the city suffers from poor air quality to its advantage. The fitness centre has installed oxygen-emitting bars beside treadmills and other gym equipment so that clients can inhale pure air as they exercise.

So why does this matter?

As the perception of pure indoor air being a luxury grows, so will the expectation for hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, and other popular destinations to offer it as part of the service.

Consumer awareness when it comes to air quality is growing and while they will continue to be willing to pay more for access to such products that help solve the problem, there is likely to come a time when they will eschew environments where indoor air quality can’t be guaranteed.

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