If wellness tourism was a growing trend before lockdown, be certain of this: fitness and wellbeing is set to play an even more significant role in people’s travel plans as we emerge from the COVID crisis.
The challenge for many hotel operators is this: after months of on-off lockdown, with business far from ‘as normal’ even when hotels were able to open, in many cases the budgets are simply not there right now to create or renovate an all-singing, all-dancing fitness suite.
And that, sadly, is what travellers expect nowadays: a gym that’s at least as good as their gym at home.
But there is good news, because lockdown has brought a sea change in the way people exercise – to the point, in fact, that a full fitness suite may not even be a first priority moving forward.
When gyms were forced to close, fitness provision pivoted online; consumers have grown used to exercising independently, following the on-screen lead of a virtual instructor.
Many are also, at least for now, more comfortable exercising on their own, away from the crowds. Even once people start to travel again – as surely they will, and fairly quickly too after the frustrations of lockdown – the likelihood is that business and holiday travellers alike will demonstrate an additional degree of caution around their health.
But they will want to continue their fitness routine; people are now more conscious than ever of the importance of staying active in boosting their health and immunity.
All of this has important, positive repercussions for hotel operators, because it means guests are more open than ever to in-room fitness.
Already a growing category, with leading hospitality brands designing in-room wellness solutions for a competitive edge, demand for this service is set to surge in 2021 and beyond. And that’s good news for hotel operators, because in-room solutions can, with the right partners, be a highly cost-effective way of meeting guests’ wellness expectations.
Firstly, in terms of the hardware itself, hotels need not install anything new in guest rooms; a world-class solution is perfectly possible using existing in-room technology.
The Wexer Web Player, for example, is a password-protected, white label web portal that allows users to stream their choice of hundreds of world-beating virtual classes any time, anywhere, to any internet-enabled device. As a hotel operator, that might mean guests streaming classes to their own laptops or mobile phones during their stay with you – courtesy of a time-limited promo code – and/or it could mean classes made available via your existing in-room screens.
Either standalone or integrated into your hotel’s own website, everything is delivered under your brand, too, ensuring the glow of added value comes back to benefit you.
Secondly, guests are open to online workouts being less equipment-centric than a gym-based offering: on-demand classes + a few small pieces of kit mirrors what they have at home and allows them to maintain existing exercise routines – satisfying familiarity for the guest at a far lower outlay for the hotel.
Indeed, arguably the most important factor with an in-room wellness offering is the quality and quantity of appropriate content on offer, ensuring:
- There’s something for every guest, no matter what their experience, fitness level or interests.
- Workouts are safe and effective.
- Hotel operators do not have to invest in large amounts of fitness equipment for every room, with workouts focusing on a few small pieces of kit + bodyweight.
- Content is all world-class, to enhance perceptions of the hotel brand.
- The experience can be white labelled, so it’s ‘owned’ by the hotel.
Once again, this plays to the many strengths of Wexer’s Web Player, which includes hundreds of classes that require no more than a yoga mat and some dumbbells, with fresh new content added all the time.
There are meditation sessions, too – well worth highlighting to those suffering from jetlag and/or business travellers needing to de-stress – and stretching classes, which are ideal for those who’ve spent hours on a plane.
Even better, new search tools make it incredibly easy for guests to find exactly the right class for them – whatever they feel like doing on any given day.
And with every workout expertly led by one of the world’s top instructors, you can rest assured your guests are in safe hands and enjoying a wellness experience that’s in keeping with the high standards you set for your brand.
Make sure your hotel is ready for a new style of traveller. Contact Wexer now to discuss how we can help you cost-effectively meet the evolved expectations post-COVID guests: firstname.lastname@example.org