Marketing to the Wellness Conscious Guest
By Jeremy Gilley Director of Sales and Revenue, Glenwood Hot Springs | July 05, 2015
Co-authored by David Erlich, Spa Director, Spa of the Rockies
The wellness trend can't be ignored; it's a $500 billion dollar business that has taken root and continues to grow and flourish. In 2013, wellness tourism grew by a whopping 12.7 percent, surpassing 2012's growth rate of 9 percent, according to the 2014 Global Spa and Wellness Economy Monitor. Clearly, incorporating a wellness program or improving upon an existing one is an opportunity not to be missed. Courting the health and wellness-savvy consumer not only makes guests feel great, it has the potential to reinvigorate the bottom line, oftentimes without heavy capital investment.
So what exactly is wellness tourism? In a nutshell wellness tourism is travel with the underlying goal of promoting overall health and well-being. Ideally, the benefits of wellness tourism will deliver a product that leaves the consumer feeling healthier and more relaxed; rejuvenated physically, mentally and spiritually. Achieving this goal may seem lofty, but by retooling existing property amenities, creating wellness awareness programs and cultivating a few key partnerships, hotels can tap into a trend that has enormous potential to grow the bottom line.
Glenwood Hot Springs: Navigating A Volatile Marketplace
Understanding the history of your property and its evolution over time can be a vital step to guiding its future. For example, is the property rooted in a geographical region of particular historical, cultural or culinary interest? Is it a destination for a targeted group such as business or family travelers? How can you capitalize on your property's unique circumstances?
In the case of Glenwood Hot Springs, it was originally used by the nomadic Ute Indians for relaxation, healing and to fortify the spiritual resolve of their warriors. Later it was molded into a world-class resort intended to cater to wealthy Victorians. At first glance it may seem that marketing this property to the wellness consumer is a facile endeavor. But the financial hardship of the Great Depression followed by the fallout of WWII devastated the property. In the 1940s, the US Navy commandeered the hot springs as a Naval Convalescent Hospital sanitizing it of much of its historic character. The "modern era" of the 50s and 60s were no kinder to the property's aesthetics. During one especially misguided period, the area surrounding the pool was covered with sand, creating a maintenance nightmare.
The Hotel Business Review articles are free to read on a weekly basis, but you must purchase a subscription to access
our library archives. We have more than 5000 best practice articles on hotel management and operations, so our
knowledge bank is an excellent investment! Subscribe today and access the articles in our archives.