Does your Spa Profitability Need a Massage?

Exploring the well-being of the wellness operation

By S. Lakshmi Narasimhan Founder, Ignite Insight LLC | November 18, 2012

Wellness is the popular panacea for the modern day busy, stressed out business executive. It literally massages the individual back to a state of detox. However, how well does wellness as a project and investment measure up?

Why Spa?

Before we consider profitability and justify return on investment on a spa project in a hotel, let us briefly look at why a spa as an investment is to be considered.

A spa in a hotel is an alternate source of revenue not just from its own operation but also as a facility, which generates major rooms and convention business. This is not the same model as a standalone spa that has to rely entirely on revenue generated through its operation. This by itself makes a spa within a hotel unique.

As a facility that generates additional revenues for the rooms and catering departments, the spa contributes to the bottom line of the hotel or resort where it is located. Moreover, having a spa in the premises is considered a good positional strategy. Guests patronizing the hotel or resort would rather have a spa within the premises than go looking for a standalone facility. In most instances, price is not a factor determining this decision but convenience and proximity are.

Factors Affecting Spa Performance

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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.