Has the spa hotel had it’s day?
Our World | On 24, Jul 2009
Financial and Motor sectors have predominantly canned 5 star resorts and incentives for the next couple of years, so has the Spa hotel had its day?
Public perception is everything for the major brands in these sectors. In the current economic climate, companies have to be fully aware of what type of event they host and where they stay. Selecting a flamboyant and luxurious hotel may well fuel the media fire. More often than not companies have identified a genuine (and profitable) reason for hosting such an event, but host it in an up market hotel/spa and it screams expensive!
Organisations need to face the fact that we are in a recession and the average person in the street wants to feel that they are not the only ones to suffer. They want to know that large organisations are feeling it too and are taking appropriate action. This feeling intensifies within certain industries (namely financial) which have had to be bailed out of trouble. The public trusted and respected these brands and now feel let down. Is it any wonder then that when they see a conference or meeting at a lavish spa hotel the perception is ‘we’re paying for that’!
Event agencies are having to invent new and innovative ways to overcome this ongoing negativity. Task your agency to discover a hidden gem, one that lies off the radar, and you’ll be able to continue to host a special event without causing a scene within the public eye. Your agency should offer complete confidentiality and individual (rather than group) incentives may be something to consider.
Luxury hotels have also responded to this issue and have instigated initiatives to make themselves appear more affordable, off the radar and sensitive to the issues of public perception. Some have re-branded, some of the newer builds have not gone for the 5 star rating when they clearly could, and others have wings (or second hotels) attached to landmark properties that are ‘officially’ a lower category for this very reason.
No matter what, the Spa hotel will see a considerable drop in corporate bookings for the remainder of the year, but they’re certainly not going down without a fight!