Leveraging Trends in the Spa Industry

By Melinda Minton Executive Director, SPAA | July 02, 2017

So much has changed in the past year in the spa arena. New equipment, expectations, ingredients, products and protocols are re-defining how a brand markets the spa. With all of these changes come adjustments to demographics and surpassing the expectations of the spa goer with advancements that respect core values, wants and needs.

Millennials

Millennials are people who may have been born between the year 1982 and the year 2002. They are considered to be among the most privileged generation on Earth, since they were born at a time of great technological advancement and general education. Worldwide, [millennials] are the largest living generation, composing 25 percent of the United States population and even larger percentages in Latin and Middle Eastern countries and comprise 20% of worldwide travelers. Finding a formula to please this new paradigm of spa goer and traveler is proving to be challenging.

  • Communal - Some researchers note that Millennials are likely to have more liberal political views compared to their predecessors who were more conservative. This is because of the level of awareness in regards to equality, human rights and the environment. This generation has a tendency to accommodate divergent views and seek out ways to solve matters in a manner acceptable to all parties.

  • Value - Millennials are frequent travelers who seek value at the spa. Whether travelling for business or leisure, millennials expect the spa to reflect the culture that they are visiting. This group is likely to diverge from the path of the older generation of traveler and will detect discrepancies in pricing. However, this group has grown up in luxury. They will gladly pay more, they simply want to be self-assured that their services are logical and produce results. Home care retail items are expected to correlate price equals ingredients, research backing and a result focus.

  • Fast - Because millennials have grown up with technology, they are most likely to expect a rapid experience. For instance, experiencing a pedicure with a 55-minute massage is convenient. A four-handed massage is a treatment they would pay extra for, expecting the service to be over the top indulgent.

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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.