Monetizing Fitness by Branding Health and Wellness

By Bob Caputo Founder, Bob Caputo Living Well | October 15, 2017

Health and wellness experts represent a profitable branding opportunity for hoteliers worldwide. Featuring specific experts or forging alliances hotels can separate themselves from the competition and increase bookings among a new group of travelers and millennials. Hotel executives have an opportunity to leverage the physical equipment at their disposal, namely, the gyms and fitness centers within their respective properties and resorts.

This is less a matter of lifting weights than it is a chance to lift a hotel’s profile by transforming that space into a branded destination unto itself, where guests can enjoy exclusive seminars and private sessions with top health and wellness experts; where these experts, authors and online personalities can strike alliances with a high-end hotel – or a series of hotels under the same name and management – to increase occupancy rates, improve guest retention and attract more travelers in general.

This moment coincides with the ongoing expansion within the health and fitness industry. That fact increases the role for hoteliers, which is an important one, where they can accommodate the needs not just of the niche traveler, but the expectations of everyday guests near and far. The forthcoming debut of the Equinox Hotel, in New York City, further illustrates this point. Based on renderings of the building and its rooms, the look is sleek, modern (minimalism abounds) and in keeping with the fitness brand’s appeal to high-income consumers. More importantly, this news seems to confirm that, according to the hotel’s investors and real estate developers, the economics makes sense.

Keeping Pace with Change

How can hotel executives join this trend or customize it to satisfy the wants of individual travelers? One solution would be to convert a spacious, and often empty, hotel gym and adjacent spa into a principal attraction; where guests will structure their stay around using these facilities. How, then, can hotel executives monetize these otherwise depreciating assets?

How can hoteliers remake these assets into annuities of a sort, which yield more than financial dividends; which yield greater loyalty from guests and more favorable reviews from members of the press? The answer: Hotel executives can partner with a health and wellness expert, establishing a copacetic relationship between the two that results in more frequent and extended bookings.

Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.