5 Things Hotels Can Do to Provide More Holistic Wellness Experiences
The topic of wellness was slowly gaining traction pre-pandemic. Companies knew that it was important to employees and consumers but wellness wasn’t something that held a lot of space within their budget. That’s until now, and if your company isn’t investing in wellbeing, do know that your competitors will be.
So, what does wellness even mean in the sense of hospitality and tourism?
Let me start by saying that it’s far more than the gyms, comfy beds, spas, yoga sessions, healthy meal options, and meditation sessions that you may already be offering alongside everyone else.
When it comes to wellness for hotels, there’s a lot more that you should be thinking about to attract your ideal clientele, provide meaningful experiences, and keep them coming back for more while spreading positive word-of-mouth for your brand along the way.
Here are 5 things that hotels can do to provide a more holistic approach to wellness experiences:
1. Better Understand Your Traveler
People make decisions based on emotions and this goes for travel as well. In order to sell whatever services or offers that you have, you need to know how to speak directly to whomever it is for. When we think about all of the times that we went on a trip, we were not the same type of person. We had a different set of emotions, mindset, needs, objectives, and intentions for that trip. This is why it’s essential to identify who your ideal traveler is and get to know them on at a human level. Why people travel isn’t for the size of a suite, the updates made on a spa, or the Peloton in the bedroom. When your competitors also offer all of that, you no longer are special. What makes you special is that your ideal traveler sees you as the solution, the change, and the transformation that they are seeking. What are their pain points? Who do you exactly serve? Help your travelers set intentions for their trip. Travel Coaches can help with this step.
2) Establish What Exactly You are Selling
Hotels no longer have a goal to just get heads in beds so you aren’t selling just your amenities. Travelers are a lot more decisive these days and have specific purposes for their trips. They are seeking something. It’s up to you to provide a solution to what they are looking for. You aren’t selling a property but rather an experience. What kind of experience? Well, that’s up to your brand. How do you want to make people feel before, during, and after their stay with you? What kind of transformation are you providing them with? You need to know what you are actually selling your ideal travelers so you know where to best invest your money.
3) Assess your Surroundings
If all that we are told about a wellness-centric trip is that we must choose a property with a state-of-the-art spa or book a yoga retreat, that is as far as we think a trip can improve our wellbeing. But, decades of research by reputable sources prove otherwise. There are numerous mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, professional, and overall wellness benefits of travel based on what travel entails in the first place: people, places, and the journey. Through spending time in nature, cultural experiences, human connection, exercising the mind, exercising your senses, and more, travel can provide various wellness benefits. Assess what your destination has to offer from a holistic standpoint. Are you near a spiritual vortex? What kind of nearby body of water can help improve your visitors’ mental wellbeing? Are there local hot springs that are off the beaten path? Is there street art that your visitors can do a group running program to sightsee?
4) Educate your Leadership and your Travelers on Wellness Travel
We don’t know what we don’t know. Right? This goes for the wellness benefits of travel as well. If your leadership isn’t aware of just how vast the wellness benefits of travel can be and how to provide visitors with those types of experiences, your services and offers will be limited and you will struggle to stand out among competitors. Therefore, it’s crucial to gain the appropriate insight and education on what is possible to establish and what’s applicable to your property and destination. The same for your travelers. Educate them on what you offer and why. Explain the science and benefits behind what your property has to offer and how it can address their specific pain points.
5) Make Meaningful Partnerships
Once you identify what kind of experiences you want to provide your travelers with, select meaningful partners to help your services and offers come to life. This can be partnering with local walking, hiking, or running tours that align with your values and vision or partnering with Travel Coaches who can help your travelers set intentions for their trip and be there virtually throughout their journey if needed. You can also think about partnering with culinary experience providers, volunteer organizations, local businesses, and even just the locals to give an authentic look into their daily lives and the place where they call home.
The future of tourism is heading in the direction of wellness more every day and isn’t going to retract. With more options than ever before for travelers and personal wellbeing growing in priority by the day, you will need to step up your hotel game, get creative, get authentic, and invest where it will matter the most moving forward.
Sahara Rose De Vore is a Wellness Travel Coach and Consultant and the Founder of The Travel Coach Network. She helps Tourism and Hospitality companies up-level their marketing and services through holistic wellness to stand out among competitors and attract travelers while providing hyper-personalized and transformative experiences.