Most hotel managers have realized what a special market wellness travelers make up. They are mostly professionals, easily spend more than 50% than normal tourists and the market is growing 9% faster than the rest of the travel market. With wellness travel spend accounting for roughly $450 billion annually; it's hard to ignore this market segment. This market is not referring to the yoga retreats and detox trips. This market is comprised of high earning professionals who care about their health and fitness goals while on the road.
They key is to understand that this group of travelers demands high quality services. An outdated fitness center or lack of healthy menu options is going to position your hotel and/or restaurant poorly to this lucrative market. So how do you attract wellness travelers without having to redesign you fitness center or hire a new chef?
Here are some low cost methods you can use to draw in the wellness guest:
• Train your concierge or front desk on the best running routes near your hotel. They should be safe, easy to navigate and have multiple distances (2 miles, 3 miles, 5 miles). Take it a step further and identify some of the interesting sights along the run and provide a map.
• Identify the healthier food menu items and drinks on the menu and promote them. This can be as simple as adding a “Fit” or “Low Calorie” notation on those menu items.
• Partner with activity based companies such as biking tours, running tours, drop in fitness companies, and personal trainers.
• Invest in low cost, high quality equipment that can be used in the gym or even the guest room. Yoga mats and jump ropes make a great amenity.
• Host on-site fitness activities for guests and even locals to participate. This can be morning yoga or a fitness class. Most guests and groups are willing to pay for these options and it is a good way to provide your loyal customers with additional value by covering their cost. Make sure that they are fun!
• Market, promote and advertise! If you are trying to attract a new segment, you need to create awareness. List your wellness services on your website, optimize under health and wellness hotels in search engines and your 3rd party booking websites. Include information in your pre and post stay emails. Enable your reservations agents to talk about wellness options. Use social media to your advantage by taking pictures of your new wellness experiences.
Enjoy serving your new wellness travelers!
The Sweat Social Team