How to Integrate Trends in Fitness with Hospitality

Functional Training & Technology

By Bryan Green Founder & CEO, Advantage Fitness Products | July 23, 2017

Today's best hotel and resort operators know that the lines between the commercial health club offering and the hospitality based fitness center are becoming increasingly blurred. A tremendous opportunity exists today for hotels and resorts to once again raise the bar and incorporate experiences crafted around trends that are presently driving the fitness industry. Hotels have long become sensitized to the fitness requirements of travelers, and more competitive in forming truly viable facilities for guests that crave their accoutrements when away from home. Although space allocation and supervised environments remain a common constraint, the diversity in equipment and thoughtfulness required to create an inspiring place to sweat can be effected most anywhere with the right planning.
In the world of fitness, two significant trends are driving the landscape by which new facilities are born, and existing spaces re-imagined:

Functional Training

Best defined as movements that involve mainly weight bearing exercises, targeted to simulate and strengthen the activities of daily life, and without injury.

Technology

Influencing the trends of nearly any emerging sector, technology is driving down the costs associated with delivering expert level guidance and world class motivation towards the needs of gym members, hotel guests, and within their very homes.

Together, these two factors are powering the emergence of socially driven exercise and virtually guided training sessions that are shaking the landscape of nearly every aspect of the fitness industry. The most notable manifestation of these trends is found in the proliferation of boutique fitness studios. These stand-alone, smaller footprint facilities, largely incorporate these influences to craft energizing fitness experiences that traditional health clubs are now desperately backpedaling to emulate. Hotel operators need pay further attention to these aspects, as they serve to create a more inclusive offering and thus are attracting a wider array of participants than ever before.

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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.