The very concepts of holiday and business travel have long been associated with excess: too much eating, drinking and too little sleep. This century-old problem has left too many travellers less healthy when they check out. However, with a global awareness of the chronic disease epidemic intensifying, what constitutes true ‘holiday’ and ‘hospitality’ is now being rewritten. Hotels that offer health-focused guest experiences and wellness environments bent on delivering much-needed revitalisation for people who want to maintain their lifestyle and live healthier can benefit.
Fuelling the trend
Preventable chronic diseases are accelerating globally, and will account for 60% of the global burden of disease by 2020. In most developed countries, 1 in 2 adults are overweight and 1 in 6 are obese. Runaway corporate healthcare costs mean many businesses have adopted formal employee wellness programmess, which in turn leads to a higher demand for healthier business travel. In addition, 53% of surveyed travellers said they exercised while travelling and health-focused travelers now represent 40% of the travel segment. Health-conscious travellers, on average, spend 130% more than the average global tourist.
How do hotels harness the health-focused traveller? The solution goes beyond the gym as a mere amenity and includes an integrated wellness approach that enhances the traveller’s stay from the moment they arrive at the hotel. “People want a hotel gym that is core to their hotel experience. This means that the facility needs to be on standard with the rest of the hotel offering in terms of equipment, location and services.” says Tony Payne, Managing Director of Technogym SA. “Leading hotel fitness centres have high quality equipment and are more visible, more inviting, and more integrated into the hotels service model. Hotel guests can also enjoy more indoor and outdoor classes and excursions, more in-room workout amenities and more healthy options. This approach builds on service touch points to create enhanced relationships with customers and builds long term loyalty”
Hotels can now implement a total wellness solution made up of technology, products, services and applications for involving guests in an all-round wellness experience. This ensures that the hotel’s wellness solution is brought to the forefront of the hotel’s offering. It begins with the crucial moment of online booking. Wellness companies, such as Technogym, provide the hotel with online survey software to allow guests to be profiled for tailor-made programmes before they arrive. We also provide specific wellness content to enhance the hotel’s website, brochures for the reception, solutions for each category of room as well as IPTV training programme videos and on demand products that can be taken to the room at the request of the guest.
“Technogym works closely with the hotel to ensure that the gym has appropriate equipment, but also to put an integrated strategy in place. This will include services, such as personal training programs, fitness tests, and personalised plans for the various needs of the guests. We called this solution ‘Wellcome Wellness’ and it has been implemented by some of the largest hotel groups in the world, including One & Only, Ritz Carlton and Trump hotels” says Payne.
Wellness in the Cloud
Technology also plays an integral role in the guest journey. One such an example is the Technogym “Wellness on the Go” app that allows hotels to offer wellness programmes and paths everywhere and at any time. Thanks to Mywellness cloud hotels can allow guests to connect to their own programmes and their own workout data wherever they are. “This is a great opportunity for the hotel industry to attract tourists and business travellers, who will be able to connect to their workout programmes or to their personal trainers inside the hotel facilities,” explains Payne.
Creating hotels which place guest wellness at the centre of its offering, will yield great returns, not only for guests but also for business owners.