Five Major Changes in the Spa Industry

By Jane Segerberg Founder & President, Segerberg Spa Consulting, LLC | September 06, 2011

If there is one thing that has been constant over the last twenty months, it is change. Changes are all over the map in the hospitality industry and, in the spa industry, most changes are categorically the same as hospitality and other businesses driven by world economy.

Using the understanding of these changes as springboards for repositioning and renovating current spas or developing new spas; we can pay attention to the changes and be prepared for the return swing of the pendulum and placement in the compelling forefront. Change has certainly brought about the 'tipsters', there is a tip-a-minute to be offered. However, big picture assessment is the precursor to successful strategic planning. Therefore, revealing overall major changes assists in appropriate positioning for future increased market share.

The five major changes listed may not be big surprises, however, they are notable. These changes are not passing trends or fads that will soon be past tense. These are changes that are indicative of the future.

After checking in with several esteemed professions including industry watch dogs, hospitality human resources and spa product and equipment vendors; the consensus seems to be the same for the Big Five. Below is the synopsis of change along with related strategies and planning.

NUMBER ONE: The Spa's Core Message Arises

The stress management, relaxation, preventive care message is being made clear. Stress has been identified (once again) as one of the major causes of the most common diseases. All over the world, the search for stress reduction is prolific. Spas encompass the best antidote to stress with programs of massage, acupuncture, exercise and meditation to name a few; along with quiet places to enjoy solitude or uninterrupted re-connection with family and friends.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.