Building Loyalty with Intergenerational Spa and Wellness Programs

By Mia A. Mackman President & Owner, Mackman ES | August 27, 2017

Growth in travel and tourism continues to rise in conjunction with intergenerational lifestyles, shifting values and increasing wellness keynotes. Every generation has unique preferences and imperatives that set them apart and stick. Accounting for nearly half of the population, Millennials and Generation Z have considerable weight in the market share. This article examines perceived values vs. core values and the benefits of incorporating a multi-generational, multi-faceted approach to spa and wellness programming to enhance customer spend and loyalty.

Generational Overlay

The structure of the family unit has dramatically changed over the years. This has inevitably impacted families, day-to-day living, tourism and travel. The Pew Research Center reported “a record 60.6 million Americans live in multigenerational households.” (Figure 1) This averages to “nearly one-in-five Americans” that are living in a diverse family environment with a multigenerational overlay.

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Generation X and Millennials are the “bridge markets” between the aging Baby Boomer population and the radically different mindset of Generation Z. The Millennial market has been the most studied, documented and #selfie-chronicled generation of all time. Whereas many seek to understand the mentality and profile the millennials up close, most forget they are yet, a part of the bridge connecting the choices made today to the behaviors and preferences of the future.

Unlike the generations before them, Millennials and Gen X are immersed in modern-day parenting. They face higher demands on time, financial uncertainty and chronic social, political and lifestyle changes. They are also the first generations to raise children in a highly digital age alongside a constant interface with the internet. Despite the challenges of parenting and striving towards well-being and work-life balance, their dedication to multi-task, care-take and provide for their aging parents is stronger than ever.

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Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. 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.