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Letters 3 2014


SPAS NEED TO TAKE BENCHMARKING MORE SERIOUSLY


Mary Darling, owner, Mary Darling Consulting


I agree with Anne McCall Wilson’s appeal to the global spa community to more fully embrace benchmarking (see SB14/2 p14). Spas cannot manage what they cannot measure and, regardless of their individual performance indicators, operators should commit to measuring key metrics such as revenue per avail- able treatment hour (RevPATH) or the treatment room utilisation rate which are included in the Spa STAR system by Smith Travel Research. Barriers to enrolling on


benchmarking schemes may stem from the fact that spas are seen simply as an amenity without a profi t purpose. Spa managers may not be interested in fi nancial performance as long as guests are happy. Or maybe no one is willing to invest in training, so managers are left to learn themselves about what metrics matter most to upper management, owners and investors. Perhaps hotel groups which


take spa revenues seriously could pilot and lead regional spa benchmarking programmes with input from other operators in the area. Although, if they did this, they’d need to consider competitive set information, as what resort operators fi nd valuable may not be helpful for day spas. Or those who already use the Spa STAR scheme could lead multiple training or familiarisation programmes in local markets so that other operators become more aware of spa data collection and the benefi ts. Global spa businesses are overdue


being taken seriously, so by fully embracing consistent benchmark- ing our businesses will be seen as more than just an amenity.


Contact Mary Darling Twitter: @maryldarling


Events need to be innovative, like the Global Spa & Wellness Summit, to be viable


ARE SPA CONFERENCES BECOMING OBSOLETE? Jeff Matthews, president, Steiner Spa Consulting


I love spa conferences! They’re a fantastic way to catch up with colleagues, trade war stories and gather market intel. But with the cost of attending them and the sheer number of events each year, many are becoming outmoded. Connections and information are at our


fi ngertips thanks to a fl atter world and a global industry that’s matured signifi - cantly in the last decade. And yes, we have spa conferences to thank for that. While there’s still a need for exhibitions


to connect brands with potential distribu- tors and buyers, this is increasingly only relevant in emerging markets. The content of conferences is debatable


too. A decade ago, we never questioned the experts put in front of us. I pity guest speakers now as they’re bound to be talk- ing to an audience that’s as knowledgeable, if not more informed, than they are.


Spa Business 3 2014 ©Cybertrek 2014 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com/digital We’ve become more discerning and


demanding about information and connec- tions. We only want to be dealing with the decision makers and more often than not, it’s not a challenge for us to fi nd out who they are and how to get to them. We want fresh insights that have never been heard, published or shared. We want to be entertained, inspired and moved. The likes of Global Spa & Wellness


Summit understand this acutely. That’s why the organisers continually endeavour to introduce out-of-the-box thought leaders/speakers and transferable case studies to its annual summit. Simply put, for conferences to be viable,


they have to be several steps ahead of the industry. Ultimately, they have to not only connect, but challenge and change us.


Contact Jeff Matthews Email: jeff m@steinerleisure.com Tel: +62 361 755 572


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