After more than a year of shutdowns and with vaccines becoming more widely available, everyone is craving a change of scenery and some time for self-care, signaling an impending boom for hospitality and travel—especially resorts and spas.
Customer priorities have shifted. Technologies have changed. More people than ever are now prioritizing wellness as an essential part of travel. In 2021 and beyond, experiences that soothe mind, body and spirit while promoting good mental health are calling. Spas, luxury destinations and other wellness-centric businesses are in a prime position to deliver these desired experiences.
Spas and luxury destination resorts naturally have a major advantage when using experiential marketing tactics, as the entire industry revolves around fulfilling the guests’ needs and desires. Maximizing programs and treatments that incorporate local cultural or regional elements into experiential marketing strategies and tactics will become even more popular for highlighting each distinctive resort or spa “flavor,” as well as its accessibility and inclusivity.
Marketing to luxury spa demographics is an ongoing exercise in creativity, refinement, discovering niches and inspired trendsetting. While many of these elements may already be in place within your organization, now is the ideal time to retool and refine programs for a dramatic comeback. As clients gradually begin to travel and spend on luxury experiences again, they represent a roadmap to a robust future. The wave is coming. So, let’s launch this experiential marketing journey!
What Guests Want
After a terrible few years for travel, especially the international tourism that brings so many people to spas, destinations and hotels, things are finally looking up. As more people are vaccinated and restrictions ease, domestic travel will deliver new people and prospects to your door. Post-COVID, the market sector poised for the biggest comeback surge is health/wellness and destination resorts and spas, according to Health Tourism Worldwide’s “Wellness Tourism 2030 Post-COVID19” report. It’s not surprising that resort spas, lifestyle-oriented resorts with spa services, and eco spas and wellness centers have huge growth potential—and marketing well is key to that growth.
An essential aspect of business operations and spa experiences is guests’ feeling of trust and comfort in a spa environment and with staff. As travel restrictions ease, safety and trust remain on the line along with brand reputations. Cleanliness and freshness feel safe, so maintaining sanitary stations, access to hand sanitizers and handwashing is here to stay. Spas can incorporate it into the experience by greeting guests with warm damp towels and a choice of scented/unscented hand soap or sanitizer, along with comfy (clean) guest robes and slippers.
Alexis Krisay, cofounder and president of marketing at Serendipit Consulting, has 15 years of experience in the fast-paced, ever-changing field of marketing. Known for her out-of-the-box thinking and fresh ideas, she has helped dozens of clients in the spa and wellness, health, fitness and lifestyle industries effectively identify market opportunities and pair them with strategic and impactful, results-driven marketing solutions.