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Kristi Dickinson

There is a great deal of focus in the wellness world on physical fitness, but very little on mental fitness. The latest research shows that it is possible to grow and strengthen our brains to prevent cognitive decline. These are exciting scientific developments not just for those at risk for cognitive impairment disorders, but also those interested in increasing their mental potential. Corporate groups, in particular, are seeking programs to increase productivity and boost the cognitive performance of their top talent. Just as with strength training to grow muscles, cognitive fitness programs can increase the size and power of the brain. This is an area of opportunity for expanding your wellness offerings and attracting new business. READ MORE

Kristi Dickinson

The annual budgeting process should involve much more than preparing a simple operations budget. An effective budget is a tool to communicate both goals and expectations. Budgets provide operational objectives for your team and help them stay on track and they are both a standard for comparison and a baseline for future planning. A well-organized budget involves a business plan that includes marketing and new programming, as well as capital expenditures which contribute to the long-term vision beyond the next operational year. In this article I outline a plan of action that every hotel spa director can benefit from. READ MORE

Kristi Dickinson

A spa's treatment menu is the primary piece of communication with guests and is so much more than just a listing of offerings. It tells the story of the spa's brand and makes a promise of the experience. The spa menu and related pricing is a critical tool to ensuring your spa thrives. Savvy spa directors go beyond simply designing a menu by thoughtfully engineering it. Menu engineering is widely used in food and beverage, but other departments can utilize this valuable tool as well. In this article, we will review how to develop a menu engineering strategy and special considerations which are unique to spa. READ MORE

William Toth

William Toth, Spa Director at the brand new St. Somewhere Spa at Margaritaville Resort Orlando discusses trends in the spa industry in 2019. As consumers become more educated on the capabilities of resort spas, products and treatments, industry leaders are looking to find differentiators. What are consumers looking for? Current trends can be broken down into four factors. They are facilities, experience, services, and results. Especially for those wishing to make their spas a part of their revenues or profit, since spas surely add to the profit of a hotel, all of these factors should be considered. For that reason, this article will focus on those factors as a guide towards a successful spa. READ MORE

Shane Kelly

Spa trends come and go and Lantana Spa at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa knows they have to stay on trend to meet demands with the exponential growth of the spa and wellness industry. The evolution of the spa industry is an ongoing, cyclical process of trying to find the next hot trend that consumers are looking for. Arguably one of the hottest and most controversial trends in the beauty, health, and wellness market today is non-psychoactive cannabinoids (CBDs). Shane Kelly, the resort's spa director, discusses the CBD trend and how it is being implemented into nearly every segment of spa service. READ MORE

Jill Carlen

As access to wellness and healthy options becomes increasingly important to travelers, hotel spas have an unprecedented opportunity to simultaneously introduce themselves to a new customer base and to grow their businesses. However, success will require innovation, adaptability and finding new ways to fit into guests' lives. Hilton has discovered new ways of integrating wellness and the spa experience by meeting guests where they are at all points of the hotel stay. Here's what the hospitality giant has learned in its journey to bring wellness into its spa and hotel concepts. READ MORE

Amy Sedeno

From room service to spas, CBD is popping up in luxury chain and independent hotels across the U.S. Move over lavender and sage, the hotel industry is tapping into the "magical elixir's" popularity in the health, wellness, and beauty industries and incorporating the ingredient into spa treatments. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, stress-reducing claims, and our growing obsession with self-care and wellness, CBD is the new and hottest commodity in hospitality wellness. With spa treatments designed to relax and rejuvenate, posh establishments like The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott are at the forefront of the CBD craze, which, according to our sources, has no plans of slowing down. READ MORE

Kristi Dickinson

Asset managers have responsibility for both managing an investment and overseeing physical assets. Finding the highest and best use of a property is the essential role. In the guest service-based hospitality industry, these plans will rarely be achieved without first influencing the people who will execute them. "Soft skills" such as emotional intelligence and an ability to inspire are often under-valued in asset managers, but human connection and influence are vital to success. To be effective you must align the people with the vision through a strong culture. The great irony is that your most important asset, culture, is essentially invisible. READ MORE

Diana Mestre

As ever-increasing numbers of guests adopt a wellness lifestyle, resorts, tour operators and travel agents are incorporating various elements of wellness into their product and service offerings. Resort Wellness Encounters provides an expanded vision to elevate, influence and inspire guests to an immersive encounter of enlightened living. Guests no longer want to be passive and adhere to the resorts rigid programs of yesterday wellness, as guests become empowered they want to design their own experiences, learn about the local culture, flavors, and healing traditions, creating their personal authentic journey that redefines wellness through unique moments and memories. Today the where, when and how are the new variables of the new hospitality matrix. READ MORE

Kristi Dickinson

Spas were once seen as simply an amenity in a hotel. However, as the annual growth in RevPAR slows, it is more important than ever for other divisions, such as spa, to maximize their profit potential. According to the 2018 Spa Industry Study by the International Spa Association (ISPA), nearly one third of resort and hotel spas operated with a profit percentage of 25% or higher. The global wellness market is valued at $4.2 trillion (and growing), so the demand is evident. Benchmarking and a keen understanding of the spa's key performance indicators (KPIs) can dramatically improve these business results. READ MORE

Mia A. Mackman

This article reviews rising tourism and its impact on third and fourth tier cities. While major cities still make up the primary destination travel sector, tourism growth has greatly expanded into third and fourth tier destination experiences. This article examines some of the contributing factors compelling overtourism concerns, local impact and challenges with indicative strategies to balance hospitality, and wellness tourism segments. This article also reviews the importance of managing local resources, leisure appropriations and new infrastructure developments to identify opportunities for growth with well-adjusted outcomes for the future. READ MORE

Veljko Savic

Veljko Savic, Spa Director at the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa discusses how wellness travel has transitioned from luxury to expectation of many travelers. He provides eight ways in which wellness experiences can be integrated throughout a hotel and raises the idea that by incorporating amenities, spaces and facilities focused on wellness, creates happier guests. From meeting spaces, to culinary offerings, Wellness Concierge and beyond, the Art of Living Well does not need to be thought of as intimidating for either travelers or hotels, but rather a part of day-to-day life and easy integration into the everyday hotel experience. READ MORE

Mia A. Mackman

This article reviews contributing factors to rising capital expenditures and investment demands in relationship to progressively important guest experiences and wellness attributes. As increasing wellness and lifestyle features continue to emerge across the hospitality sector focused on well-being, new value propositions continue to evolve. This article reviews Capex spending increases amid rising construction costs, and consumer demand with an emphasis on the value of incorporating enhanced spa and wellness-oriented property features. READ MORE

Mia A. Mackman

Familiar faces and friendly smiles have a way of making good impressions better. There’s no question how essential customer service is. When matched with personalized service, this can instantly elevate the level of any experience. This article reviews how employee satisfaction and customer relationships work, win and build greater employee happiness and customer service experiences. This also examines the underlying principles of employee tenure, company commitment and how employee terms meaningfully impact the performance of business. READ MORE

Mia A. Mackman

While external consumer platforms like Yelp, Trip Advisor, and other social media network channels provide transparent, experiential guest reviews, they lack the often-needed, internal scrutiny. Understanding the mix of both customer reaction and operational efficiency can expose important cracks that impact performance. This article reviews the significance and value of unbiased, comprehensive, routine spa inspections and wellness program assessments. And how incorporating systems for "routine, reaction and review" can reveal critical insights pertaining to performance gaps, risks, volume and yield. These services can also help highlight new revenue opportunities and improve creative ideology, enhance profitability and guest experiences. READ MORE

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Coming up in June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.