The Increasing Importance of Fitness Amenities
posted by Jay Woodworth on March 18, 2014
As Precor recently pointed out in their Precor White Paper, a new or updated fitness amenity can mean “gold” in the hospitality industry. The driving factors behind this are recent demands for fitness coupled with the rise of online reviews. Because visitors are putting more and more weight into the feedback they see online, one way to ensure positive reviews is to leave a strong impression in an area more and more guests are finding important. Whether it’s a luxury resort or a budget hotel, upgrading or installing a new fitness amenity can have a major impact on a company’s bottom line.
Increasing Expectations for Exercise
Focus on fitness is a growing trend. From do-it-at-home programs, to health club memberships, to CrossFit competitions, people’s desire to maintain a fitness regimen is at an all-time high. A trip away from home can seem like a major obstacle to the average exerciser’s routine, and because of this many travelers are trying to keep up the hard work while away from home. A 2012 survey from Trip Advisor suggests that over 50% of people plan on and pack for exercising while away on a personal or business trip. And while that indicates close to half of all guests choose not to exercise, the quality of the property’s fitness center may still have an impact on their potential review.
While most properties are prepared to meet this demand [84% of properties offer some sort of exercise facility], the fitness-focused consumer has led many companies to reevaluate their facilities. There have been new efforts from economy brand hotels, like Days Inn, to offer premium fitness rooms to their guests. After all, aligning offering to meet guest expectations is a major element to a hotel’s success.
The Rise of Reviews
Sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp are an increasingly important part of the property selection process for travelers. Not only are people more likely than ever before to read reviews when determining where to stay, but they are also more willing to leave their own reviews after the stay. Trip Advisor, with a user base of over 260 million visitors, reports up to 70 contributions are made to the site per minute. While review sites like this can often serve as a platform for scrutiny, they can also prove a powerful persuasion tool if guest expectations are met or exceeded.
In a study conducted in 2012, Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration found that guest satisfaction has a direct correlation to a property’s financial performance. The basic findings are that even the smallest increase in a hotel’s review scores can increase the hotel’s revenues. More specifically a “1-point increase in the 100-point ReviewPro Global Review Index (GRI) … can result in a 1.42% increase in the property’s Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR).” This makes the goal of receiving high online marks even more important for property managers.
Fitness Amenities Effect Guest Reviews
Regardless of a guest’s exercise goals or aspirations, a new or updated fitness facility can mean “gold” in the Hospitality industry. With an increase in the use of online review sites, and the effect they have the consumer decision-making process, it is important to do everything possible to leave a good impression. It is no longer enough to simply have a fitness center on site, as this highly regarded amenity is becoming a point of emphasis for the fitness focused traveler. Guests are looking at the quality of this amenity as a major factor in where they choose to make their stay away from home.
An upgraded fitness room can benefit a hotel by driving the attractiveness of the property to prospective guests, improving customer satisfaction while raising RevPAR, pricing power, and occupancy rates, and ultimately helping to retain customer loyalty to ensure repeat business.
Is your property ready for an upgrade?
Source: Precor® Blog