Creating a True Circuit of Wellness for Guests

By Ann Brown Founder, Saltability | July 09, 2017

The 2016 U.S. Spa Industry Study, released last Nov. by the International Spa Association (ISPA) revealed a milestone for the spa industry. For the first time in an ISPA Consumer Snapshot Survey, the number of spa-goers outnumbered non-spa-goers for a respective audience with 56 percent of millennials having visited a spa in the last 12 months.
As more consumers choose spas, they are looking for more than a simple treatment — a massage or facial. They want a wellness experience. In fact, millennial spa-goers cite reducing or relieving stress as the biggest reason they choose to visit a spa (“New ISPA Research Released for 2016,”

Today’s hotels and spas must step up to meet their needs of today’s more wellness-savvy consumer and stay competitive in the marketplace. Today’s guests understand what aging and stress can do to their bodies, and they want to minimize the damaging effects caused by busy lifestyles. Numerous studies point to the effects that stress and negative lifestyle choices have on our bodies when we don't sleep, rest, repair and allow our parasympathetic to replenish the body. This increasingly mainstream awareness about holistic health and wellness needs has led to guests looking for spa and hotel experiences that provide a true circuit of wellness — a comprehensive experience that begins from the moment they walk onto the property and is intentional throughout their visit and helps them achieve their longevity and wellness goals.

When you answer guests’ desires by providing a stay that supports their health and wellness goals, you meet their needs and your own. Creating a wellness circuit at your hotel and spa will make a statement with your guests that brings them back, leads them to recommend your property to others and positively impacts your bottom line.

Properties That Lead with Healthy Design

To create a truly comprehensive wellness experience, every detail matters, from the moment your guest pulls up to your property. Consider the messages you send through design, landscape, maintenance and more. How environmentally conscious and friendly is your hotel and spa?

According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the hospitality industry’s interest in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the world's most widely used green building rating program, continues to grow — with more than 2,070 hotels participating in LEED and nearly 400 LEED-certified hotels comprising nearly 134 million square feet of space, as of Feb. 2016.

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.