Resort & Hotel Spas Implement New Promotions to Appeal to Spa-Goers
By Deborah Waldvogel Director of Spa Development & Operations, Sedona Resorts | May 08, 2011
Over the last decade, the spa industry has been booming. In 1999, when the International SPA Association (ISPA) first collected data on the state of the industry, there were 5,689 spas (473 of which were resort/hotel spas) in the U.S. In comparison, the most recent data from 2009 shows an increase to 20,600 total spas (1,810 of which are resort/hotel spas). Needless to say, the industry was enjoying a time of growth and a spotlight in the national media.
The resort/hotel segment remained the second largest spa type behind the day spa segment, and became a deciding factor for many leisure and business travelers. With 24 million visits to resort/hotel spas alone in 2009, it's important for marketers to shine the spotlight on their facilities. To put it into perspective, today a spa is an essential element of a hotel, just as a fitness center was in the 1980's.
Even with all the growth of the past decade, the spa industry was not immune to the economic downturn. It has weathered the storm by helping consumers cope with the increased stress brought on by the recession through stimulating demand using unique marketing and discounting tactics. The number one reason that people go to a spa worldwide is to relieve and reduce stress, and it's no secret that consumers have never needed stress relief more than in the past few years.
The ISPA 2010 U.S. Spa Industry Study provides insight into the marketing initiatives that resort/hotel spas implemented in 2009, the most difficult financial year in decades. The spa industry held strong by implementing unprecedented marketing strategies.
Spas re-engineered treatment menus to attract new spa-goers and more efficiently run their spa business. Gone were the days of menus that offer 10 different types of facials or massage options. By simplifying menus, spas were able to promote the "getting back to basics" lifestyle, which is focused on health and wellness. The emphasis was on core results-orientated treatments, including traditional massages and clarifying facials. Elaborate treatments that incorporated exotic ingredients were hard to find since people wanted the comfort of knowing what to expect. In fact, a deep tissue massage was the most offered type of massage. Spa-goers wanted tangible results that justified their spending at the spa.