Although adding a fitness center to your hospitality property might fall under the category of “nice to have," fitness spaces and offerings are becoming the industry standard. In fact, 84 percent of American hotels had a fitness center in 2014 and 53 percent of travelers always or often exercise when they’re on the road.
Having a fitness offering on your property can make the difference between a guest choosing your property or picking a competitor’s. A staggering 55 percent of business travelers have walked out of a hotel gym due to facilities that did not meet their expectations. To ensure that your guests remain satisfied customers, it’s important to invest in a fitness offering that meets guests’ needs.
Here are a few easy-to-implement tips for budgets of any size that will help you attract fitness-minded travelers and keep them coming back to your hotel time and again.
1. Remember That Fitness Goes Beyond the Fitness Center
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle goes beyond the fitness room.
In order to keep fit travelers loyal to your establishment, you should make it easier for travelers to maintain both their fitness levels and their diets. Make sure that your property’s dining options (both in-room, at the breakfast bar, and in the hotel restaurant) have healthy offerings so that fit travelers can keep up with healthy eating.
2. Think of Fitness as a Whole-Body Affair
Although most people associate fitness with running or lifting weights, health-minded travelers make whole-body health a priority.
You can take advantage of this mindset by adding valuable services like spa experiences, private training sessions, and group classes to your fitness offerings. In some instances, it might even make sense to create a wellness-weekend package that offers your guests personal training, fitness classes, and a spa session. By offering these services alongside your regular fitness amenity, you have the opportunity to enhance your guests' stay experience and increase your bottom line.
3. Invest in the Fundamentals
While it might seem like a great idea to invest in the trendiest equipment, it’s best to stick to tried-and-true gym equipment like dumbbells, treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bicycles.
Most exercisers are already familiar with these pieces of equipment, so it makes it easier for them to recreate their regular workout on the road. More importantly, when you decide to invest in equipment, try to buy commercial-grade pieces with a service plan whenever possible. Even though it might cost more money up front, investing in high-quality equipment will ultimately keep guests satisfied – commercial-grade products last longer and a service plan ensures that if a problem arises, it can be fixed immediately.
4. No Fitness Room? No Problem
If you don’t have the option to add a fitness amenity to your space, there are still ways that you can attract the health-minded traveler. Think about partnering with a local gym to make their space available to guests or make in-room fitness equipment (think small dumb bells, on-demand exercise videos, jump ropes, and yoga mats) available to guests. Also be sure that your front desk staff is aware of local studios, walking trails, and fitness options so that they can help guests find their fitness fix.
More and more people are trying to live healthy and active lives, and you can play a role in helping them do that. By making fitness a priority in your establishment, you'll likely see an increase in new business, customer loyalty, and overall guest satisfaction.