Post-lockdown spa booking trendsJun 04, 2021
The spa industry has been through one of its most challenging periods over the last 18 months. At no other time has it been under greater threat, has a nationwide misunderstanding of its value been more evident, and yet never have its services have been more needed by individuals across the country. Abi Selby, Founder of leading spa booking agency Spabreaks.com, is in a unique position to see spa booking trends first-hand. Here, she explains how the industry is coming back and what spas can do to help meet client needs.
Longer spa holidays are in demand
We have been championing two- and three-night spa breaks for a while, seeing a gradual shift towards longer wellness experiences. Covid seems to have escalated that trend, with longer spa getaways proving popular at wellness retreats and hotel spas. Responding to consumer demand, spas are offering more two-night spa packages (and longer), and they’re getting booked up fast. We have found that requests for weekend bookings through to the end of August have been outstripping demand, meaning we’re beginning to book further ahead, but also meaning there are some fantastic mid-week offers available.
Part-day spa experiences
At the other end of the spectrum, many of us are looking for ways to incorporate wellbeing into our working week. While more people continue to work from home, no commute means there are a couple of hours in the day to re-allocate to different parts of our lives and to explore local spa facilities. This ties in with spas’ need to reduce capacity to allow for social distancing. As a result, there’s increased demand for part-day spa experiences that allow guests to take advantage of mid-week availability and to have spa experiences more regularly, whilst also allowing spas to make up some of the shortfall from hosting smaller numbers at any one time.
More focus on luxury experiences
Having been denied life’s luxuries over the last year, there’s a real sense that we all deserve to be treated. Equally, as spas are mindful of limiting time in wet facilities to prevent crowding, there’s an increased focus on making spa experiences even more special. That might include product gifts to take home, longer spa treatments and other additions to therapies and packages to really make guests feel as though they’re getting something valuable when they visit.
Covid secure measures and their impact
It probably goes without saying that there’s been a huge amount going on behind the scenes to make the spa industry Covid-secure and to provide reassurance without compromising the quality of customer experiences. As mentioned, to maintain social distancing and a pleasant safe environment, spas across the board are restricting capacity for the time being.
In many ways, it ensures those more luxurious experiences and it’s a practice that’s typical of five-star destinations even under normal circumstances. However, it does mean that it’s more important than ever to book early. All of this is in addition to the hygiene practices and risk assessments, which spas and therapists practice as standard and have also updated and adapted for the current climate.
The customer experience
At Spabreaks.com we are mindful that all these changes, the famine to feast nature of bookings opening back up, as well as the collective psychological impact of the last year means that it’s important to pay attention to the customer experience as a whole - making it easy to book and making information and protocols clear - for example.
For us, that has meant continuing to invest in our digital offering. Therefore, now we can book again, it is quicker and easier than ever before as all our vouchers can now be redeemed online, instead of on purely over the phone.
During the pandemic, we created government advice boxes across the website allowing us to update visitors within 45 minutes of every announcement (hopefully there will be fewer of those moving forward). New content hubs are also available to keep customers fully informed about what to expect at spas in terms of experience, offerings, and things to do, and to provide reassurance as well.
Do you feel confident doing risk assessments in a post Covid world?