With consumers increasingly focusing on diet, fitness and living a healthy lifestyle, hoteliers are being driven to adapt their strategy to better appeal to these health-conscious individuals.
That trend has led to the emergence of “wellness hotels,” and there is plenty of data to support their existence: The Global Wellness Institute reported that the wellness industry is now worth $4.2 trillion, with a projected growth of 7.5% for 2020.
No wonder hospitality providers are keen to tap into this market and focus on creating successful wellness-related brands. The challenge for hoteliers? How do you appeal to the wellness market without having to transform your entire hotel and operations?
Fortunately, an overhaul likely won’t be necessary. According to Anne Dimon, president of the Wellness Tourism Association, “wellness visitors” wish to maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling but don’t expect to sign up for intensive fitness programs or go on a green-juice diet to radically transform their bodies.
Dimon emphasizes that wellness hotels differ from luxury wellness retreats. Wellness hotels are defined as properties that provide a range of wellness-focused amenities but are far more relaxed and financially manageable alternatives to wellness retreats, which typically feature offerings such as luxury spa facilities, hourly fitness classes, workshops, and organic/vegan/locally grown produce.
But there are clear steps hoteliers can take to enhance their marketability to the health-conscious visitor:
Improve hotel fitness and spa offerings
Expand fitness facilities beyond the standard hotel gym. Enlarge the space if possible and install new equipment and a yoga/meditation area. Beyond all, make sure the space is appealing and accessible to all guests. take things one step further by offering in-room fitness equipment, on-demand workout videos and a free laundry service for training gear. If you have the appropriate amenities, you could even hold weekly yoga sessions on the roof. Or host walking tours of the local area.
Ensure you provide a great post-workout shower experience in the spa and in the rooms. Provide natural organic products and focus on mood lighting and calming scents. For those interested in a spa treatment, make sure to highlight the health benefits, offer packages and provide expertise.
Offer a diverse Food and Beverage menu
Healthy food options simply are a must. A wellness report released by Nielsen revealed that of Americans are trying to eat healthier and are demanding transparency in the food they are consuming. Work with the hotel chef to produce some new and exciting healthy dishes, consider vegan options and provide nutritional information for each meal. For some finishing touches, implement hydration stations around the hotel and leave healthy snacks in rooms.
Place a greater emphasis on quality sleep
Ensure guests get a good night’s sleep by providing them with all the necessary amenities. Think cooling linens, comfortable pillows, silent air-con units, and herbal tea offerings. Three in four Americans associate getting enough sleep with good health, according to a research report. It’s worth it to deliver a memorable sleeping experience.
Overall, a wellness hotel should try to create a ‘wellness mindset’ that goes beyond enabling guests to maintain healthy routines, according to Jennifer Hawkins, CEO of Hawkins International. Offering small luxuries can help generate more revenue. “Guests are willing to pay a premium for these facilities,” said Jason Moskal, vice president of global marketing at Hotel Indigo & EVEN Hotels, IHG.
Invest in wellness. It’s bound to yield healthy returns.