How to Integrate Trends in Fitness with Hospitality

Functional Training & Technology

By Bryan Green Founder & CEO, Advantage Fitness Products | July 23, 2017

Todays best hotel and resort operators know that the lines between the commercial health club offering and the hospitality based fitness center are becoming increasingly blurred. A tremendous opportunity exists today for hotels and resorts to once again raise the bar and incorporate experiences crafted around trends that are presently driving the fitness industry. Hotels have long become sensitized to the fitness requirements of travelers, and more competitive in forming truly viable facilities for guests that crave their accoutrements when away from home. Although space allocation and supervised environments remain a common constraint, the diversity in equipment and thoughtfulness required to create an inspiring place to sweat can be effected most anywhere with the right planning.
In the world of fitness, two significant trends are driving the landscape by which new facilities are born, and existing spaces re-imagined:

Functional Training

Best defined as movements that involve mainly weight bearing exercises, targeted to simulate and strengthen the activities of daily life, and without injury.

Technology

Influencing the trends of nearly any emerging sector, technology is driving down the costs associated with delivering expert level guidance and world class motivation towards the needs of gym members, hotel guests, and within their very homes.

Together, these two factors are powering the emergence of socially driven exercise and virtually guided training sessions that are shaking the landscape of nearly every aspect of the fitness industry. The most notable manifestation of these trends is found in the proliferation of boutique fitness studios. These stand-alone, smaller footprint facilities, largely incorporate these influences to craft energizing fitness experiences that traditional health clubs are now desperately backpedaling to emulate. Hotel operators need pay further attention to these aspects, as they serve to create a more inclusive offering and thus are attracting a wider array of participants than ever before.

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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.