Off-Season Profitability Producing Pick Me Ups

By Melinda Minton Executive Director, SPAA | May 19, 2010

Side By Side Moments

Side by side treatments have never been more popular and for any occasion the perfect answer to lifting your spa's agenda. Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Anniversaries, Christmas, New Year's and Birthdays are all natural occasions for these types of services. Couples, friends, mother and daughter matchings are all natural spa-goers to enjoy treatments like: side by side massage, facials, body treatments or a combination of all three. Sundries like robes and slippers are always appreciated for these "event" kinds of treatments as are items like beverages, appetizers, flowers, take home goodies and special touches that make the treatment special for the individuals enjoying them.

Thematic Services

Establishing a theme for a treatment, month or series of treatments really develops an interest in spa-goers who might not otherwise come to your spa. For instance, treatments that are different than the typical fare found on most spa's menus like Ahshiatsu or bar massage can be quite intriguing to the typical guest; sea-based treatments like Watsu can be a draw as well as many types of multi-layer facial or body masquing services. The point is, make some of your treatments unique, hard to find and entertaining. The difference will show in your bottom line.

Develop a Local Following

Especially if you are a seasonal property, when your low season hits staff is cut, morale is low and profits can fall to non-existent levels leaving your financials in shambles. One way to counteract this is to give locals a lower price, a membership to use the spa and market to them as locals. Those who live in vacation spots often resent being ignored when tourists come to their towns in droves and unemployed when the tourists leave. Adopting a familial marketing campaign lets them know that you are understanding and one of them too. Additionally, your facility will keep staff which means no rush to hire and train when the high season comes. Marketing to locals doesn't just develop a revenue stream it also cuts a lot of the cost that go into the season fluctuations that many resorts experience. Also, once the high season is upon you those who work within the tourism component will freely promote your spa over those spas who don't embrace a local market.

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.