Printed from : LMD

01 Aug 2014

Is it time to raise capture rates?
   BY Katie Barnes

Key studies in our Research Round-up section show that it’s been another positive year for the global spa sector. Revenues and profits are up and spas are considered an important part of the burgeoning wellness tourism movement (see Spa Business Handbook 2014, p96). Our Development Pipeline on Spa Business Handbook 2014, p26 shows that many new, exciting projects are underway too. With an increasing interest in spas once more, is now the time to address the capture rate issue?

While there’s no set average for the capture rate of a hotel spa, industry anecdotes point to low figures. Managers say the number of guests at most urban hotels who have a spa treatment is only around 5 per cent with resort spas faring slightly better at 15 per cent. With an audience quite literally lying in wait, much could be done to encourage more bookings aside from an in-room spa channel and treatment menu.

I recently stayed at a high-end resort in North America where the concierge looked nonplussed when I asked about treatments. While she could detail off-site attractions with ease, all I learned about the spa was its opening times. Unfortunately, that’s not the first time this has happened to me. Guests rely on hotel staff for information. Had this lady spent a day in the spa, or had a treatment, her response would have been different.

It’s often puzzled me why hotels don’t suggest booking a treatment before guests arrive – during an initial phone enquiry, or adding a line (and link) to reservation emails about the amazing therapies on offer.

Lack of access to spa scheduling systems has contributed to poor booking and capture rates. But most spa software now comes with hotel interface capability and other helpful features.

TAC has created Digital Signage which can synch with its Reservation Assistant software so resorts can display last-minute availability and deals across a property. Spa booking kiosks that can be positioned on-site are also on the market.

An app by ResortSuite helps spa-goers to learn about treatments while on-site and book services in real-time. Meanwhile, Book4Time software enables guests at the Viceroy Sugar Beach in St Lucia to book treatments via in-room iPads.

Addressing some of these aspects and making use of the technology that’s now available could go a long way to improving capture rates and boosting spa business.

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