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Archive for January, 2013

State of Spa Marketing Survey: How Do Your Marketing Plans for 2013 Stack Up?

How do your marketing plans for 2013 stack up against what other spas are planning? According to SpaFinder® Wellness Research’s The State of Spa Marketing survey, budgets for traditional marketing will continue to decline, and more money will be allocated to Internet marketing, social media, and events. Over 42 percent of respondents plan to spend less on traditional advertising (newspaper, radio, TV), and 35 percent will budget less for direct mail. On the flip side, 66.4 percent plan to spend more on Internet marketing channels, such as email campaigns, partner marketing and gift certificate relationships, online booking solutions, etc.; 62.5 percent are budgeting more money for public relations; and 58.3 plan to spend more on events.

The study also asked respondents if deal sites are a good deal for spas and wellness businesses. Survey takers were conflicted about the ROI from “daily deal” sites such as Groupon and Living Social. Forty percent have now worked with an online “daily deal” site, and another four percent plan to (leaving the majority on the fence). Forty-one percent report they experienced “a significant improvement in customers and sales,” and over 36 percent reported customers spent more money than the value of the deal.

What does all this mean for you? Your peers are getting results from marketing that is personalized and spending more money on Internet channels, all types of social media, public relations, and events. It might be time for you to take a close look at where you are spending your marketing dollars. And if you’re looking to try “deals” marketing, take a look at the new yield management offerings that target unused inventory and help you offer deals only on what might not have been sold.

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Spa Industry News Briefs

Song Saa, Cambodia’s First Private Island Resort Unveiled

Featuring 27 villas, each with a private pool, the all-inclusive Song Saa will be Cambodia’s first-ever private island resort. The resort will be highlighted by a spa and wellness sanctuary, located in the rainforest along the shore, which will offer therapies based on four Buddhist principles, a large infinity-edge swimming pool, and a yoga and meditation center. Read more.

Japanese-Based Okura Hotels and Resorts to Open New Spa in Amsterdam

Okura Hotels and Resorts has unveiled a new 3,229-square-foot Nagomi Spa & Health at its Hotel Okura Amsterdam. The spa will feature four treatment rooms, a couple’s room, relaxation area, saunas, an indoor swimming pool, spa pools,  Turkish steam baths, a Japanese garden, and more.  Sothys skincare products will be used in treatments. Read more.

Le Meridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center to Open in 2014

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., announced the signing of the 10-story Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center, located in Chicago. Prior to the 2014 debut, the hotel will undergo a $20-million renovation. The new hotel will offer a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment and a roof-top terrace, along with 172 rooms and suites, including a presidential suite and two spa suites featuring the signature Le Méridien Bed. Read more.

Iceland’s Lava Spa to Debut in February

The Ion Hotel and its Lava Spa are set to open in Iceland in February. The 46-guest room hotel, designed by Santa Monica architects Minarc, is supported by high pillars in order to  give the illusion that it is floating in mid-air. Treatments at the Lava Spa will focus on healing, calming, and purifying the body. Read more.

Other Industry News

SpaBA names Charlie Thompson its new chair

Men ‘prefer online’ when buying grooming products

GOCO and Steigenberger to launch new spa concept

Hyatt Spas’ Niamh O’Connell takes up new role in Hong Kong

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2013 Trend Report: How It Will Affect the Day Spa Industry

By Sallie Fraenkel, SpaFinder® Wellness executive vice president, corporate development and industry relations

SpaFinder® Wellness has been forecasting trends for the past 10 years, and I’ve been involved with this process for nine of them (somehow, that doesn’t seem possible)! And we usually do a pretty good job of predicting the trends (in fact, Susie Ellis, our president, grades us each year on how we do . . . how’s that for accountability)?

Forecasting implies a prediction of future situations or results, and that is why we call our report a “trends forecast.” Click Here to download the 2013 Trend Report.

Utilizing a team of research analysts, we develop the global spa and wellness trends over the course of an entire year. It’s a painstaking process where we use ongoing surveys with our network that consists of over 20,000 spa, wellness, fitness, and beauty providers, thousands of travel agents, and hundreds of thousands of consumers. In addition, we visit many spas around the world (one of the best parts of the job) and interview top industry stakeholders.

The result is a future view of what we think is coming in the year ahead for our industry. Sometimes a trend is ahead of its time, as is the case with this year’s “Mindfulness Massage.” “Wellness Tourism,” a prediction from 2010, is just now starting to gain traction, although we saw it coming onto the scene almost three years ago. One of our 2008 trends, “Taking Sleep Seriously… Especially if You Want to Lose Weight,” really raised a few eyebrows back then. But now, most of us in the spa industry have come to understand the importance of sleep and address it in many ways in the treatments now offered.

How can these trends help you in your business? Learning the background and research behind the trends will help you think further ahead to serve your customers’ needs and attract new clientele. In my ESI presentation, we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty to make sense of the 2013 trends so that you can practically apply them in what you do.

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State of Spa Marketing Survey: Results at a Glance

The State of Spa Marketing Survey, conducted by SpaFinder® Wellness Research, provides a snapshot of how spa and wellness businesses are budgeting marketing dollars; what marketing channels and resources are proving to be the most effective; and what changes are planned for the year ahead. It also gauges which Internet platforms, from Facebook to online daily deal sites, are currently being used and will be used in the future.

This annual survey is designed to help the spa/wellness/hotel/resort industry make more informed marketing, communications and technology decisions. It was conducted among day, hotel/resort, destination and medical spas.

Results at a Glance

Significantly, the majority of survey respondents earmarked just one to three percent of yearly revenue for marketing; 23.5 percent spent four to six percent and only 13 percent of those surveyed spent more than 10 percent.

When asked to describe how marketing budgets were currently allocated, respondents indicated they were spending the most dollars on Internet channels (including online ads, email campaigns, affiliate relationships, partner marketing and gift certificate relationships, online booking solutions, etc.). Social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) was ranked next, followed by search marketing (pay-per-click and search engine optimization), public relations and events, with traditional advertising and direct mail coming in last. Perhaps it is a sign of the times that the “other” category ranked higher than traditional advertising.

When asked which current strategies were most effective, respondents again ranked Internet marketing channels number one, followed by social media. But public relations was ranked number three, beating search marketing. Events again topped traditional advertising and direct marketing in the effectiveness category.

Not surprisingly, spas are actively using the Internet to do business: 65 percent sell their own gift certificates online; more than 67 percent partner with universal gift certificate companies like SpaFinder Wellness or Way Spa; and over 32 percent sell spa or wellness retail products online.

Spas are also busy Tweeting, Facebook-ing and taking advantage of the myriad of online marketing offerings. A little over 86 percent use Facebook; 64.6 percent utilize online reputation management; 62.1 percent Tweet; 49. 4 percent use Google+; 40.6 percent participate in online contests and sweepstakes; 45.7 percent have worked with online deal sites; and over 40 percent have some form of online video. Pinterest and mobile marketing were less popular channels.

But spas were split on the effectiveness of social media: 40.6 percent reported a modest improvement in customers/sales; 11.7 percent saw a major improvement and 40.6 percent reported little impact (7.1 percent did not use social media).

Overall, 83.7 percent of respondents believe that the “Internet has become the most important, results-producing marketing channel for the spa/wellness industry.”

Stay tuned for our next issue, where we’ll take a look at what respondents said about the impact of online deals and deal sites, along with marketing plans and budgets for 2013.

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Spa Industry News Briefs

Golden Door Sells for US$24.8 Million
The legendary Golden Door Spa has sold for US$24.8 million to an unknown buyer in a sale that includes ownership of the Golden Door brand. HFF brokerage made the announcement. Read more.

The Khyber: Himalayan Resort and Spa Debuts in the Himalayas
The Khyber, Himalayan Resort & Spa opens in Gulmarg. The seven-acre property, Gulmarg’s first luxury resort, includes accommodations with panoramic Affarwat peak vistas, 10,000 square feet of meeting space, a kids’ activity center, ample outdoor spring and summer adventures, etc. Read more.

U.S. Hotel Occupancy Shows 16.2% Increase Week Ending December 22
STR reports U.S. hotel occupancy up 16.2 percent to 43.2 percent in year-over-year comparisons for the week of December 16-22, 2012. Average daily rate increased 3.7 percent to US$93.04 and revenue per available room rose 20.5 percent to US$40.22. Read more.

Planet Beach Poised for Expansion in New Year
Planet Beach Franchise has begun the expansion of its brand in the United Arab Emirates. The expansion is spearheaded by Bretton Woods Committee member, Planet Beach Master Franchisee of Saudi Arabia and Global Leader, Makarem Batterjee. Read more.

Sandals Acquires the Veranda in Turks and Caicos, Closes Resort for Renovations
Sandals Resorts International has acquired the all-inclusive Veranda resort in Turks & Caicos. The Veranda will close in early January for renovations and is scheduled to reopen in March upon completion of the project. Read more.

The Palm at Playa Lifestyle Beach Hotel, with Spa, Opens in Riviera Maya
The Palm at Playa Lifestyle Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen is now open. The 69-room hotel is within walking distance of Quinta Avenue, lined with shopping and dining venues, and is home to a spa and fitness center featuring traditional and regional-inspired therapies, as well as a rooftop terrace with pool. Read more.

Fairmont Brand to Expand in Bali
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is scheduled to open a new resort on Bali’s southern coast in 2016. Fairmont Bali amenities will comprise a luxury spa, 18-hole golf course and 170 guest accommodations. The resort will also include a Raffles Bali, with 80 one-, two- and three-bedroom villas and branded residences. Read more.

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