Why Wellness Tourism Results in Healthier Revenues
By Lisa Ross President & Partner, rbb Communications | August 11, 2019
Wellness travel is a trend on the evolutionary fast track. Luxury hotels and their marble spas have traditionally been the response to travelers' health-centric demands, commanding top dollar for an hour or two of pampering indulgence. Today, spas are an archetype of hotel segments across the spectrum, from luxury to convention hotels to independent, boutique properties.
The total number of global hotels with spas has increased from 13,000 in 2014 to 19,020 in 2018, representing a 46 percent increase over a span of just five years, according to STR's census database. But beyond the rise of the hotel spa, wellness travel is seeping into other facets of the travel experience as consumers' understanding of the concept broadens. Hotels and destinations that cater to these demands are not only building better bottom lines, but also reaching travelers who may not have previously considered their property or locale for a future trip.
What is Wellness Tourism?
The Wellness Tourism Association defines this segment of the industry as "travel that allows one to maintain, enhance or kick-start a healthy lifestyle, and support or increase one's sense of well-being." In other words, wellness travel is about prioritizing one's physical, mental and spiritual well-being. For hoteliers, that translates into a new set of guest expectations that must be met in order to stay relevant in today's market. Doing so is no longer just a matter of forecasting profit and loss (P&L) on spa construction and operations –or even offering a spa facility.
The modern hotel guest's self-care regiment is a daily goal that takes a variety of forms, incorporating elements such as digital detox, healthier food options, a fitness concierge, sleep enhancement and more. Hotels large and small have already recognized at least some of these habits and consequently, have stepped up their food and beverage (F&B) game or enhanced their fitness centers with next generation equipment or the simple addition of yoga mats.
Garnering ROI from the Wellness Segment