Expand Your Market - Capture the 'Non-Spa-Goer'
By Jane Segerberg Founder & President, Segerberg Spa Consulting, LLC | October 28, 2008
Is your property's spa capture rate growing? Of course, higher capture rates deliver higher revenues and more happy and loyal guests. During your hotel/resort's budget process each year it becomes more apparent that in order to increase the spa's revenues, the property and spa need to seek opportunities to capture more business.
Sometimes opportunities aren't as apparent as the need to find them. Thomas Edison once said, "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work"
Read further to discover a world beyond the "overalls" and see opportunities that you can't afford to miss. We will also review the current data on the status of the spa industry which indicates that there is an opportunity to have an influence on growing your spa's market.
This article was inspired by a conversation on an airplane with an astute entrepreneur and business man, both of us traveling for business. As the conversation unfolded, he found that I was a spa consultant and asked some excellent spa business questions and then some fairly na"ive questions about the spa experience itself. After discussion, he proceeded to tell me that his wife goes to the spa and loves it, but he doesn't partake of the spa experience. He feels a lack of control and a little intimidated. (this statement is coming from a very calm and assured person) He went on to say that he imagined that there are many other people "out there" like him, that are not going to spas for the same reason and that we in the spa and hospitality industry have work to do to make converts out of the non-spa-goer. He went on to surmise that the number of spas is growing but the market is not growing at the same rate and spas are left to compete for the same consumer. BINGO!
Spas in the past have been hoping to win the spa-goer's attention and business by creating over-the-top unique experiences. The uniqueness has lead to complicated, unfamiliar sounding lists of treatments. With one in four Americans over the age of 18 (32 million people) having been to a spa, the opportunity becomes a little more obvious. What if we could attract another one fourth (32 million) of the population? The International Spa Association closely monitors the Spa Industry with annual studies performed by highly reputable research firms and has comparative statistics from 2000 to 2007 which illustrate some important trends. While there was a 6 percent growth of the number of spas overall from 2006 - 2007, resort/hotel spas saw a 9.4 percent growth. From 2004 - 2006 the overall growth of the number of spas was 26 percent. Spa revenues saw an overall -3.4 percent growth from 2005 to year-end 2006, however, resort/hotel spas recorder a 19 percent increase in revenues. The previous overall revenue increase in all spa categories from 2003 to 2005 was 28 percent. These statistics make it obvious that the industry is at a point in time in which it needs to actively grow the number of spa goers.
The ISPA studies also point out that visiting spas while traveling is very popular, but is not necessarily a gateway activity for first time spa goers. Here is another missed opportunity since travelers are more apt to try something new while they are out of their normal element. We have the opportunity to learn how to attract new and ultimately loyal spa guests.