Fitness is increasingly becoming the reason behind many travel plans, with the wellness travel sector in the U.S. expected to grow to $808 billion by 2020. It seems guests don’t just want a bed for the night as part of their experience, they want to have the opportunity to work on their health and fitness, too. This should come as little surprise when over 80% of travel experts believe guests want their wellness goals and routines to be maintained while they travel. So, what can you do as an independent hotelier to tap into the wellness traveler market?
Offer a consistent approach to wellness
It’s no longer sufficient to simply have a spa or gym onsite at your hotel – a holistic approach is required if you’re to meet the demands of the wellness traveler, including integration to a cloud PMS. That means moving beyond your fitness rooms to incorporating standing desks, yoga mats and even stability balls in rooms.
When people enter your hotel, it needs to be made clear that you value their desire to live a healthy lifestyle, no matter where they happen to be staying. The presence of healthy menu options, suggested walking routes and add-on services for fitness training will make it clear that you’re well equipped for the wellness traveler.
Think beyond healthy food
The aforementioned presence of a healthy food menu is a great start when it comes to creating the perfect welcome for a wellness traveler, but you can go much further.
Here’s just a few ideas for helping guests take charge of their health:
- Lighting. Human-centric, intelligent lighting is gradually making its way into our lives, thanks to innovation from the likes of Philips and Helvar. Just by tuning room lighting to match the natural rhythm of the human body, you can help guests feel relaxed when they need it most and energized when they need to get out there and seize the day.
- Air purification. Of primarily concern for organizations like the American Lung Association is the quality of air in public spaces, but as a hotel, you can solve this relatively complex situation via the use of air purifiers designed specifically to combat the multitude of odors that can be found in buildings with a high turnover of occupants (be they two- or four-legged).
- Vitamin C Showers. Vitamin-infused shower water can be increasingly found in hotels whose wellness amenities lie at the heart of the guest experience. By neutralizing chlorine, these healthy showers are designed to relax and rejuvenate weary guests.
- Yoga spaces. If you’re blessed with a number of rarely used meeting rooms in your hotel, why not turn one into a yoga space, complete with instructor, for an additional fee?
Get ready for wellness requests
The increasingly health-conscious society in which we now find ourselves means hoteliers need to be prepared for fitness and wellbeing-related requests from guests. For instance, if someone forgets their running shoes, or wants to borrow an iPad to soundtrack their workout, having a stock of fitness items on site is a really smart idea. You may even be asked to deliver a ‘fitness wake-up call’ featuring a special motivational message, which certainly puts a new spin on the regular early morning call!
Hotels both Flagged and Independent alike, that are adding Bike Sharing Programs are on the rise. Wyndham has added a Bike Sharing Program for it’s Hawthorn brand and an Independent Boutique embracing the Wellness Traveler, is Affina Hotels & Suites with their Bike Program too. Make the offering complete with a bike, lock, helmet and a local map outlining the best biking routes. The demand from guests is strong enough that there are now new companies that can help you start your own Bike Sharing Program. Republic Bike will create a custom fleet of bikes for your brand/property either for a rental or courtesy program and offer a completely maintenance free program so your staff will be free from the burdens of inflating bike tires and focused on keeping guests happy.
What does the future hold?
The key to providing services for the wellness traveler lies in personalization. The more you know about your guests and what they look for, the more you can deliver personalized stays that take into account their health and wellbeing requirements. If the investment in fitness equipment and spaces is too great for your business at this stage, start small by canvassing guest opinion on the types of wellness-boosting services they’d like to see you provide.
InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMS, Channel Manager, Hotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.
Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.