Why Growth in the Wellness Market Requires a Shift in Thinking for Hotel Spas
By Jill Carlen Global Director of Spa Brands, Hilton Hotels & Resorts | July 14, 2019
Once thought of as something that was "nice to have" just in case, wellness now plays a vital role in where many travelers choose to stay, a shift that provides hotel spas an opportunity to reach new audiences and differentiate themselves based on this growing demand.
This is particularly true for Millennials, who are now part of the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, comprising 35 percent of it. They are earning income to travel on their own and also travel for work, and they bring with them a unique set of preferences not seen by employers in the past.
Hilton research shows that 75 percent of young professionals in the U.S. see business travel as a major work perk, with 65 percent considering it a status symbol. Studies show they would rather travel and have experiences than buy a new car.
Millennials have also helped usher in an era of "Bleisure" travel – a term that describes the blending of business and leisure travel – since they often want to add a day or two of leisure to their business trips or squeeze in leisure activities throughout a day of work, which includes wellness.
The growth in the wellness market overall is apparent in the numbers. According to the Global Wellness Institute, the global wellness economy grew nearly 13 percent from 2015 to 2017, increasing from $3.7 trillion in 2015 to a $4.2 trillion market in 2017.
As more travelers prioritize wellness and blur the lines between business and leisure, spas within hotels have the opportunity to provide unique wellness experiences that appeal to these active travelers. Some hotel spas are already starting to reimagine what their spaces, and those experiences, look like – and this is what can set them apart.