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TRENDS PREDICTING PURCHASING


WEATHER CHANNEL In the US, the Weather Channel has rebranded as the Weather Co and the Atlanta-based business has more than 75 years’ of weather data which it’s using to predict not only the weather, but when people are more likely to buy certain goods. We think big data like this will increasingly be used to help operators understand customer behav- iour and how to optimise income.


WELCOMING GUESTS


NO FRONT DESK Cloud software enables operators to remove the front desk and instead, welcome guests with a tablet computer and a personal greeting at check-in, rather than being behind a desk. Spas and hotels are experimenting


with tablet check-ins, while some restaurants are trialling app payments which allow customers to avoid a wait for their bill: they can just pay and go once they’ve fi nished their meal.


THE OLYMPIC EFFECT


SPA BOOM IN JAPAN Tokyo’s hospitality industry will gain much pace in the run up to the 2020 Olympics in anticipation of tourists – London’s 2012 Games attracted 698,000 visitors according to offi cial fi gures. Expect to see much focus on onsen (hot spring facilities) which are a highlight of the Japanese spa industry.


18 spa business handbook 2014


Gaiam’s virtual yoga gives access to world-class instruction by Rodney Yee ACCESS TO EXPERTS


VIRTUAL TRAINER Given their ability to generate value from underutilised space, virtual exercise classes are likely to be picked up by spas going forwards. They’re already very popular with leading fi tness operators such as GoodLife Fitness, Virgin Active and Anytime Fitness. Systems consist of a screen, projector


and a computer connected to the internet that stores and runs classes and installation starts at US$3,000 (€2,210, £1,790), plus a


monthly licence fee. Most systems allow operators to either pre-schedule classes or let customers choose sessions on-demand, or off er a combination of the two. Platform providers include Wexer Virtual, Fitness On Request and Fitness On Demand. They enable facilities to off er world-class


instruction and a huge variety of trainers. Gaiam, for example, provides yoga sessions by Rodney Yee. Other major brands such as Les Mills and Zumba have also entered the virtual arena which suggests that it’s on the brink of rapid growth.


Win win: virtual trainers enable world-class instruction and a huge variety of trainers with reduced costs


www.spahandbook.com


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