Now that the worst part of the pandemic has wound down for the time being, people, en masse, will be looking to make up for lost time traveling and, in addition to restaurants and famous landmarks, will be visiting spas at their trip destinations. Now, for certain spas, like those located directly inside of hotels, becoming a destination spa for tourists will be fairly simple as some portion of the traffic that passes through the hotel will also pass through the spas at the hotel. If your spa fits this category, congratulations as you will likely be (or are already) seeing an uptick in business. However, if you are not in the natural path of tourists, you will have to go the extra mile to get their attention and it will be worth your time to do this. Tourists are logical spa clients as the purpose of most non-business related trips is for relaxation and spas provide relaxation oriented services.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE MOST POPULAR DESTINATION SPAS?
In order to decide how to become a destination spa, we should examine some of the most popular destination spas and see what they are doing that might be making them so attractive. One thing to take into account is that many of these popular destination spas have an “angle” that makes them unique from other spas. For instance, the “We Care Detox Spa” in hot springs California combines spa services with an all liquid, organic juice-fasting diet. This means that while clients are enjoying massages, pedicures, essential oils and sound healing, they are simultaneously in the process of colonic cleanses. There is literally no eating of solid food allowed on the premises. Similarly, the Canyon Ranch in Arizona combines their spa treatments with high level fitness and strength training experts so that, in addition to being relaxed, clients leave feeling like they have improved their physical selves. Now, you don’t need to have colonic cleanses or fitness professionals to be a destination spa for tourists, but what if you added yoga sessions or guided stretching on your massage beds for travelers who may be stiff from sitting for hours? This could certainly get the attention of people passing through your area for a vacation. Finally, if you do not currently have personnel with the ability or resources to offer special services which would be attractive to travelers, you could also try a new decorative theme at your business like the all French style Cal-a-Vie spa in San Diego, California.
PARTNERING WITH LOCAL HOTELS
As was mentioned above, some spas will have an easier time becoming destination spas because they are literally located inside of the hotel itself. However, for those who are not, this should not stop you from allying your spa with a hotel or local accommodation, especially if the hotel does not have an integrated spa on the premises. As is normal in business practices, the hotel should have some type of motivation to give your spa marketing exposure. This could be in the form of referral fees where the hotel gets a small percentage of every spa package they help you sell. However, this could also be in the form of combined hotel and spa packages where the packages that customers buy include both hotel accommodations and spa packages at a price which is less expensive than buying the two services individually would have been. In this way, your spa can get exposure in a manner that is mutually beneficial to the local accommodation and further referral fees may not be necessary.
ADDITIONAL SPA BENEFITS
If your spa has the space and resources, there are other benefits to consider giving your clients if your goal is to become a destination spa. For instance, a spa with a children’s area (and supervision of that area) may be helpful in getting clients with small children who otherwise would not be able to use spa services because they would have nowhere to go with their kids while utilizing the services. Other considerations like having ample parking space available is useful if you are in a tourist zone which is frequented by RV’s, campers or other large vehicles.
Making your spa a destination spa which is attractive to tourists can be beneficial for numerous reasons. For one thing, tourists are typically accustomed to paying a little more for everything and, for this reason, if you do successfully become a destination spa, it is entirely reasonable to think you could increase your prices. Second of all, instead of simply having a local client base whose spa habits could be inconsistent, you could achieve a constant flow of destination spa tourists.