Archive for August 20th, 2010
If you’re like me, you’ve been crossing your fingers and toes over the past year in hopes of seeing our economy—and our spa-related businesses—finally come out of its dismal state. I just received the results of SpaFinder’s fourth annual State of Spa Travel survey, and I feel tentatively hopeful. This query of 250-plus global travel agents conducted last month revealed that spa travel performed surprisingly well across a depressed economy in 2009 and is clocking modest, yet measurable, gains for the first half of 2010. Here are a few of the highlights:
A Resilient 2009—Modest Gains in 2010
Despite a historically abysmal 2009 economy, roughly two in three agents (64%) reported no declines in spa travel bookings last year (over 2008), with 26% reporting spa travel actually increased. And for first-half 2010, the modest economic recovery underway is reflected in the measurable (if similarly modest) gains in spa travel: 36% report spa travel has increased in the first six months of 2010; 39% claim it’s remained about the same; while 25% cite year-over-year declines.). The majority (albeit slim, at 52%) report the economic recovery is now having a direct, positive impact on spa travel bookings – and the optimism for full-year 2010 is higher: 61% predict overall growth this year, with only 7% expecting year-over-year declines.
A New Season of “Let’s Make a Deal”
Hotel, resort and destination spas are not hitting the brakes on special pricing/deals in the somewhat improved 2010 economy. In fact, a surprising 44% of agents report even more aggressive spa travel deals in 2010 over 2009, while 48% report the bargains are holding firm. This industry “deal” strategy matches what consumers have been conditioned to expect: Agents report that the #1 change in spa travelers’ behavior in 2010 is “seeking significant deals.”
Price-Per-Night Mirrors 2009
In 2009, agents reported that the most frequently booked price-per-night at spa destinations had trended down considerably, and in 2010 the numbers are near identical: 74% of spa travel booked now falls under $299 a night (identical with ’09), while 41% falls under $200.
Health & Wellness Travel Continues Surge
Sixty-six percent of agents (up from 52% last year) report their clients are showing a markedly increased interest in vacations with a dedicated health/wellness focus. Additionally, 88% of agents report that health/wellness offerings are now important to their clients (up from 83% in ’09).
Top Trends: “Social Spa-ing” Parties On
Agents weighed in on which trends are exhibiting the most momentum in 2010, and “social spa-ing” (friends/families/groups traveling to spas for special occasions/celebrations) ranked #1, just edging out “spa travel for wellness/health.” Traveling solo ranked third, spa travel by younger people (under 40) ranked fourth, and increased international spa travel ranked fifth.
What do you think of these results? Are they matching up to what you are experiencing in your spa? Be sure to add your comments here. And to get the entire results of the survey, visit www.spafinder.com.
Ceiba Del Mar, a luxury Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico, is offering an endless supply of spa therapies for a limited amount of time. Guests who book an Unlimited Spa Getaway package (starting at $1,680 per couple) for a stay between now and Dec. 22 will enjoy:
- A welcome champagne cocktail
- Four days and three nights accommodation in a deluxe room or guest suite
- Unlimited inter-and-outer focused spa treatments from the Spa at Ceiba Del Mar
- A vital energy flow analysis and a customized gift of blended oils
Guests will also receive complimentary access to a couple’s spa suites with private lounge and jacuzzi terrace; a hydrotherapy circuit with sauna, plunge pools; a fully-equipped gym, yoga and aquafit classes; and land/sea sports equipment. The options are, truly, limitless.
As a former couch potato, I know the challenges of getting motivated to exercise. For me, music plays such a vital role in getting me pumped for a workout, whether it’s spinning or yoga. So I was excited to learn that PS Ventures Limited has created a way to integrate music into fitness programs with the release of two iPhone apps. “Music Interval Training Tool” and ”Workout Music Timer” are now available to download for the iPhone and iPod Touch. These two apps use the principle of managing listeners’ state of mind throughout their workouts by allowing them to create play lists for exercising at different levels of intensity.
The Music Interval Training Tool is a countdown timer designed for interval training, allowing the user to create a custom play list for low to high intensity workouts with music automatically changing through each phase, while the Workout Music Timer is a more conventional stopwatch, featuring three different intensity music play lists. Listeners can move between play lists at the touch of a button and track down how long they have been exercising at each intensity level. It’s the perfect motivation for making working out feel like less work and more fun. Click here to check out available apps.
Although I love doing yoga, it is no secret that I am not coordinated at all. So when I originally learned about Yoga-Paws about five years ago, I was so excited. Touted as the “yoga mat you wear,” Yoga-Paws are lightweight mini-mats worn on the hands and feet to provide slip control so that yoga can be practiced safer and more comfortably (and mat-free, if you choose). Originally launched in 2003, the company has recently compiled feedback from fans and instructors and invested in research and development to improve the product. Available this fall, the new Yoga-Paws hand units will feature eco-friendly TPE material with a curved ergonomic design and external seams, similar to driving gloves, for added comfort and mobility. The foot units will feature a heal strap to prevent movement, as well as a smooth, Lycra-spandex material that adjusts to provide a closer fit for various foot sizes. With accessories making it this easy and comfortable, there is no excuse not to say “om.” Check out the products here.