Hotel Online  Special Report
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Coyle Hospitality 2006 Group Survey Finds Spa and
Fitness Facilities Favorites For Frequent Travelers
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New York, (November 2, 2006) -- In an effort to measure interest in utilizing fitness and spa facilities while traveling,  Coyle Hospitality Group surveyed 1482 frequent travelers, representing consumers throughout the United States.  The survey also queried what features were most important in hotel or affiliate fitness facilities; spa spending trends and the likelihood of different segments of travelers to utilize spa services. 
 
Detailed results have been broken down into the following sections: Hotel Fitness Facility Usage; Fitness Facility Preferences; Spa Spending Trends; and Hotel Spa Usage.
 
Hotel Fitness Facility Usage

Over 50% of the travelers indicated at least some likelihood of utilizing the fitness facilities, while only 27% indicated that they were unlikely or very unlikely to use them.  The data suggests that if the average guestroom brings two guests to the property, there will be a significant interest per room in the hotel’s fitness offerings.  Therefore, hotels are wise to make sure their fitness offerings are both compelling and easily identified during the booking process.
 
While the actual usage numbers are open for debate, it is clear that most travelers want a viable exercise option while traveling.
 
Fitness Facility Preferences

CHG also surveyed the level of importance of various fitness equipment and features including such things as cleanliness, space, variety of cardiovascular equipment, technology, refreshment availability, presence of free weights, presence of staff and class availability. The two defining preferences in a hotel fitness facility are cleanliness and space.  91% cited cleanliness as important or very important and 78% cited having ample personal space.  
 
Guests understandably expect a clean environment to exercise in and they don't want to be crowded while working out.  Since the guest can draw conclusions about space availability and cleanliness visually before the workout, the hotel/spa with limited space or poor upkeep is likely to negatively affect even the casual observer or occasional facility user. 
 
Also important to note, is the expectation of media in fitness centers, with over 50% of those surveyed citing it as important or very important.  The savvy traveler is now used to seeing media such as flat screen televisions or music options in fitness facilities and it is becoming increasingly important to them.  The availability of refreshments was also important or very important to 50% of the people surveyed, showing that the availability of water or other refreshments is not essential but is a simple way to aid in the comfort of guests.    
 
The hotel guestroom that has been converted to a gym is automatically at a space disadvantage.  Hotels wishing to retain health conscious guests will have to set aside valuable space, maintain it, and give as many up-to-date options as they can.  
 
Stephanie Perrone, Vice President of Business Development at CHG adds, "It stands to reason that travelers want the same up- to-date equipment they have at their local health club.  They also do not want to wait for equipment to become available.  If they have set aside time to work out while traveling, it will only upset them if they are unable to do so."
 
Spa Spending Trends

Spa spending and awareness still continues to be on the rise.  CHG asked travelers how likely they were to spend on spa over the upcoming year.   The traveling public continues to show a strong inclination to at least consider spas as part of their travel spending.  Over half of those surveyed intend to keep their spa purchases consistent while nearly 30% say that they will likely spend more in the upcoming year.  A combined 12% indicate they will likely spend less. 
 
CHG’s spa survey in 2005 clearly showed a general consumer trend of increased purchases in spas.  Spa treatments and services are increasingly becoming a discretionary buy instead of an indulgent or impulse purchase. Perrone states, “Traveling consumers are continuously realizing the health benefits of incorporating spa into their busy lifestyles, thus increasing their likelihood to spend in these areas.”
 
Hotel Spa Usage

Coyle Hospitality Group also looked at the difference in likelihood of utilizing the spa during both business and leisure travel.  Leisure travelers are much more inclined to provide spa revenue than business travelers.  What is very encouraging though is that only 18% of the leisure travelers surveyed were unlikely or very unlikely to at least consider spas as part of their discretionary leisure purchase.  More than half of the leisure travelers surveyed were at least considering utilizing the services. 
 
The business traveler is much less likely with only a combined 27% considering a spa purchase when traveling. The data also shows that there are a large number of 'fence-sitters' with 27% of business travelers and 21% of leisure travelers saying they are neutral about a spa purchase. 
 
In summary, when coupling the data above with shopper data gleaned from over 5,000 CHG hotel mystery shops, it is clear that many operators are not seizing this immense marketing opportunity. CHG data shows that during Reservation Calls, hotels with onsite spas services mentioned these services only 38%.  Capture at the point of sale was even more meager with spa services and availability being mentioned only 12% of the time during check-in.  The active and consistent promotion of the property’s fitness facility or affiliate fitness facility varies and guests are often left merely with the information that the property they are visiting has a fitness facility.  
 
It is clear that hotels with compelling fitness and spa services have a distinct advantage over those hotels who fail to clearly articulate their offerings.  Spas should increasingly seek the traveling public as a source of new customers, with the leisure traveler offering the best potential.  
 
Whether hotels outsource or provide options in-house, cleanliness, availability of individual space, and a variety of up-to-date cardio equipment are primary drivers of satisfaction. Travelers want and expect what they get at home.
 
For the full survey report or to obtain additional information about Coyle Hospitality Group, please e-mail Stephanie Perrone at sperrone@coylehospitality.com , visit www.coylehospitality.com or call 415-738-6043.
 
About Coyle Hospitality Group
Coyle Hospitality Group is a market leader providing mystery shopping and brand quality assurance services exclusively to hotels, restaurants and spas worldwide. Since 1996, CHG has completed over 30,000 quality evaluations exclusively for hospitality clients.  For more information please visit www.coylehospitality.com or contact Stephanie Perrone, VP of Business Development, at sperrone@coylehospitality.com.  Call (800)-891-9292 or (415) 738-6043.

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Contact:

Rebecca Kollaras
Kollaras Communications, Inc.
148 NW 97 Street, Miami Shores, FL 33150
 305-754-5949
305-439-5314 cellular
www.kollaras.com

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Also See: Coyle Hospitality Group Launches ‘Peak Performances Module’; Interactive Online Tool Helps Hype Hospitality Heroes / September 2006

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