Experts

"Spas must evolve with changing post-lockdown demand" says Spabreaks.com founder

Abi Selby discusses how spas can maximise the heightened demand for wellness experiences while managing the challenges of guest experience

UK

By Sarah Todd

22 June 2021

www.spabreaks.com
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Abi Selby, the founder of Spabreaks.com, has shared the booking platform’s latest insights into the spa industry’s recovery and how owners and operators can best maximise elevated demand for wellbeing services.

As UK restrictions began to ease and spas reopened, Spabreaks.com reported several record-breaking days, with demand outstripping that seen pre-pandemic, including its previous best trading day – Black Friday 2019. Sales for May this year were up 60% compared with May 2019.

With a surge in demand presenting lots of opportunity for the industry, booking lead times are also increasing, partly due to demand outstripping supply, particularly at peak times, and consumers wanting to ensure their spa experience is guaranteed.

Rockliffe Hall in County Durham is part of the Elysium Collection on Spabreaks.com

While spas have traditionally seen bookings made last-minute, there has been significant demand recently on Spabreaks.com for August and September.

Helping spas to manage their capacity on a more detailed level to support overall recovery, the platform has also worked with its partners to create exclusive packages, as well as half-day and evening experiences. The part-day packages provide value to spa guests as well as high levels of revenue to the spas, which enables them to utilise more capacity and spread bookings.

As such, part-day packages now account for 18% of Spabreaks.com spa day/non-residential stay revenue, as guests look to fit in spa experiences around flexible home-working situations.

City spas such as Shangri La at The Shard, London allow guests to fit a visit around new flexible working hours

“Previously, mid-week experiences have been less popular than weekends,” confirms Selby. “But with weekends booking up quickly and people either at home or working flexibly, there is a definite growth in this area – and one spas should leverage with a part-day functionality to fill gaps any time of the week.”

Spabreaks.com has also seen a surge in demand for two-night stays due to ongoing international travel challenges, which are also helping to increase the vital average transaction value.

Commenting further on the insights, Selby said: “Digital truly is the predominant channel with more and more bookings being made online – in fact, 75% of ours are made through the website now. Ensuring you are easily found and booked online is key to maximising demand and ensuring administration processes are as efficient as possible.

“The last 18 months have been some of the most challenging the industry has ever seen. Maintaining open, positive communication, alongside evolving with the times, consumers desires and the sector’s needs, will continue to be key to maximising demand while managing the challenges we face is pivotal to the industry’s recovery and success as lockdown eases.”

 

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