Rising Capex, Development and Wellness Construction

By Mia A. Mackman President & Owner, Mackman ES | March 10, 2019

Over the last decade, the spa and wellness sector has faced tremendous growth in the hospitality industry. This evolution has significantly evolved over the last few years. Many hotels and resorts have found it increasingly necessary to adopt new performance models, renovate existing structures, and greatly enhance their food and beverage programs. This has also stimulated innovative property updates to accommodations, public spaces and spa and wellness facilities.

Transition and Demand

Throughout this transition, emerging wellness trends have grown into a new category of demand generators centered around well-being. This has impacted guest expectations, new customer preferences and in some cases, transformed traditional hotel and resort leisure principles. With this, guest profiles and different social demographics are changing the way people use today's hotel and resort spa facilities and public spaces.

With a rising demand for improved personalization, wellness initiatives, and new program offers, many hotels and resorts have been led to go above and beyond conventional offerings in order to remain competitive. Some of these improvements include faster broader ranging internet, swifter check-ins, and new booking systems. As advancements in new technology advance with greater speed, incorporating these tools and updating existing systems on the front and back end have become essential investments.

U.S. Spa Industry Growth

The U.S. Spa market has been on an upward trajectory for the last eight consecutive years. Starting in 2009, there have been dramatic increases across five of the leading revenue segments in the U.S. The International Spa Association (ISPA) calls these the "Big Five " which include record increases to the number of spa businesses, employees in the workforce, spa revenue, average treatment rates and average spend per guest. Despite the widespread economic downturn between 2008-2009, spa and wellness growth has continued to thrive.

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Coming up in June 2019...

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.