by Patty Monteson,
ISHC and Judy Singer, ISHC
Lodging, May, 1999
Men enjoy the "rest
and relaxation" and "exercising and getting fit" offered by
spas. Women, on the other hand, enjoy "being pampered," closely
followed by "rest and relaxation." These are among the findings
of a national survey of 2,767 spa users from 36 spas by Pompano
Beach, Florida-based spa consulting firm, Health Fitness Dynamics.
It seems the historic
concepts of the male athletic club - with exercise room, steam
room, and 'rub-downs' - still appeal to today's male. For example,
60 percent of men in the study go to the spa to have a massage
and 43 percent go to exercise.
When asked why they
go to spas, 41 percent of men say they visit when they are stressed.
However, 26 percent say they visit when they "feel like splurging"
(compared to 45 percent of women), and only 19 percent "to take
care of [themselves] " versus 39 percent of women.
comprise 74 percent of 2,332 people who use a spa while staying
at a resort, an increase of 5 percent since HFD s 1992 study.
Conversely, male attendance decreased by 8 percent. Perhaps
men are enjoying other amenities at the resort. Or, perhaps
spas are focusing their message on the female market instead
of on the male and couples market.
The study also examines
the needs, interests, and benefits women look for in spas during
different ages. It finds that 59 percent of women under 30 years
of age go to a spa at a resort when they are stressed, compared
to 33 percent of those over 60. Visiting spas to exercise and
get fit is important to 34 percent of women over 60, versus
20 percent of those under 30. Going to a spa at a resort when
one feels like "splurging" is the reason for 48 percent of the
younger women, compared to 26 percent for their older counterparts.
When asked if they
would choose one resort over another because of the spa, 82
percent of women and 78 percent of men respond with a "yes."
After using a resort
spa, males do not seem to value the experience as much as women.
Thirty percent say they want to return afterwards, versus 50
percent of women. In some cases, this may mean the spa did not
deliver its promise in terms of guest service, creating a wonderful
experience, having a well-maintained and well-staffed spa, or
Many Americans are
integrating spa life in their activities at home. Therefore,
resorts have a prime opportunity to meet the needs of guests.
It is important not only to get people in the door with your
spa, but also to understand the nuances of the market so that
men and women will want to return to the spa during their visit
and then tell their friends about the experience. Top
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Fitness Dynamics, Inc.
1305 N.E. 23rd Avenue, Suite 2, Pompano Beach, Florida,
954-942-0049 - Fax: 954-941-0854