20 Nov 2017 | Digital editions, magazines, websites, e-zines, handbooks and contract publishing for the leisure industry

Spa Opportunities issue 280, 2017 is now out!


Spa Opportunities bloggers:

Liz Terry
Leisure Media

Kate Cracknell
Health Club Management

Katie Barnes
Managing Editor,
Spa Business

Lisa Starr
Senior Consultant,
Wynne Business

Anna Bjurstam
Raison d'Etre

Dieter Buchner
Founding Partner,
Urban Healing

Jean-Guy de Gabriac
Founder/ CEO,
Tip Touch Academie

Marisa Dimitriadis
Managing Director,
The Spa Consultants

Anni Hood
Kis Lifestyle Group

Jane Scrivner
Managing Director,
Jane Scrivner

Thinking local

13 Nov 2012
by Liz Terry, CEO, Leisure Media
Philippe Bourguignon, chair of Miraval, predicts that a significant proportion of future spa business will come from the short break market - "somewhere you can go on a two-day trip"

In the latest issue of Spa Business, we talk to the team at Miraval about their challenges, successes and future strategies Spa Business 2012 issue 4 (p60).

Chair Philippe Bourguignon says investments and innovation have created a product which is fine-tuned and ready to be rolled out. There are now plans to develop up to five more US resorts in addition to the original.

I asked Bourguignon how he'll ensure the new locations don't end up competing with other spas and was intrigued by his response. He dismissed this challenge, saying he foresees the sector developing as a proximity market: "We think we can get half our clientele from within a two-hour drive time," and predicting that a significant proportion of business in future will come from the short break market - "somewhere you can go on a two-day trip."

Trends support this local, short-break model. Travel trade statistics show a growing interest in local vacations/holidays, as people weary of the increasing complexity and cost of travel. Spas which develop strong local customer bases and spa memberships will have an advantage as fuel prices increase and the airline industry struggles with consolidation and profitability. Local customers can become more regular users, so they become more high-yielding and engaged.

At the height of the recession, spas with a higher proportion of local business traded more profitably than those who depended on tourists, so having a higher proportion of local clients creates greater stability.

The US is the only developed nation without statutory rights to paid time-off, so it's a precious commodity and getting value out of it is a priority. Research shows short, intense experiences can be as memorable and gratifying as longer, less eventful ones, so spas - with their option for intense programming - can leave short-break visitors feeling they've really stepped off the world, even if the time away has only been a couple of days.

Corporate wellness also presents opportunities. As corporates engage more with spas for the provision of preventative services and screening for executives, operators with a network of facilities near major population centres will have a commercial advantage.

Bourguignon is a visionary with an uncanny ability to predict trends. He also has a broad background in leisure which shapes these perspectives and it will be fascinating to see how this plan evolves and whether our market does become more local.

Tags: Spa Business  spa & beauty 

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