Benchmarking and technology critical to the future of hotel spas

Above: Delegates at the 2013 Global Spa & Wellness Summit, at which the Global Hotel Spa Forum was held 

Embracing technology and putting an independent benchmarking system in place are critical factors for the future of the hotel spa sector, according to findings from the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS). 

Delegates at the Global Hotel Spa Forum at the 2013 GSWS in Delhi, India, emphasised the importance of technology in enhancing the spa experience, building stronger customer relationships and improving profitability. 

A recently released report from the forum also reveals that delegates highlighted the implementation of an international benchmarking system to assess financial performance as critical to the future growth and property of the hotel spa segment. 

The need for an industry-wide hotel spa study, to more accurately assess clients’ preferences and requirements and become better placed to meet the growing need for personalisation, was also underlined. 

Delegates at the forum additionally expressed the view that hotel spas have to a degree lost their lustre and no longer lead the spa market in the way they did a decade ago. It was agreed that hotel spas need to innovate, adapt and widen their customer-base in order to regain their market leading position. 

Panellists at the forum included Kathryn Moore, director of operations at Mspa International, Jeremy McCarthy, director of global spa development and operations at Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Mia Kyricos, chief brand officer at Spafinder Wellness. Additional input for the report was gathered from the more than 100 global hotel spa professionals present at the summit. 

Hotel spas currently represent 16% or 14,000, of the 87,000 spas in operation around the world. However, they account for a significantly higher percentage, 27% or US$19billion (£11bn) of global spa industry revenue.