By Meredith Pittman, CHDM, Manager of Marketing & Digital Strategy, Remington Hospitality, Rising Marketing Leaders Council Member
The global pandemic triggered an unprecedented acceleration in the importance of wellness within the hospitality sector. Notably, the wellness tourism market value reached nearly $731.36 billion in 2022, marking a CAGR of nearly 4% since 2017. With projections suggesting that this market will grow to $1.2 trillion by 2027, the question is, how are hotels adapting to meet this growth? I brought this question to the HSMAI Rising Marketing Leader Council for discussion.
1. The Evolving Guest Focus on Wellness
Since 2020, the lens through which guests view wellness has undergone significant transformation. Properties with a focus on outdoor activities, such as hiking skiing, and mountain biking witnessed a dramatic rise in demand during the COVID era. However, this demand is slowly reverting to pre-pandemic levels.
Other hotels, away from parks and outdoor recreation, are integrating technology to enhance the guest experience, with innovations like air purifiers and in-room water filters becoming more common.
2. Incorporating Wellness in Marketing Strategies
Many establishments are weaving wellness into their brand stories or highlighting wellness in their experiences. For instance, some brands emphasize their proximity to parks or fitness centers. Complimentary wellness offerings like beach deck yoga sessions or hosting events such as half-marathons are gaining traction. Partnerships efforts, such as partnerships with nonprofits or local guides, add layers of authenticity to the wellness narrative. Moreover, an increasing number of hotels are offering wellness rentals like bikes and record players, as well as Peloton programs. Sustainability is another facet of wellness, with some properties emphasizing aspects like farm-to-table dining experiences.
3. Looking Ahead to 2024
As we approach 2024, the wellness trend is poised for further evolution. Hotels anticipate increased requests for healthier food and breakfast options and a broader array of wellness activities. This underscores the fact that wellness in hospitality is not just a passing phase but an enduring shift in guest preferences.
- Hospitality Trends: Wellness and wellbeing (ehl.edu)
- INDUSTRY REPORT: Wellness-Themed vs. Wellness Hospitality (ehl.edu)
- “Wellness Finds Renewed Importance in Hospitality” Panel at Skift Future of Lodging Forum 2023 – YouTube
- Global Wellness Tourism Market Report and Strategies To 2032 (thebusinessresearchcompany.com)
Questions for your team:
- How has your guest’s focus on wellness changed since 2020?
- What wellness features or activations have you seen that interest you as a traveler?
- How is wellness thoughtfully implemented (or how could it be) in your marketing strategies? Can it only be implemented at luxury & lifestyle properties?
- How do you anticipate the wellness focus changing for 2024?