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COVID-19 is helping hoteliers recognise the value of spa revenue, says Emlyn Brown

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Accor’s global VP of wellbeing, Emlyn Brown, believes COVID-19 has provided a platform for hotel spas in city locations to leverage the local market and become a crucial revenue driver.

Speaking in a recent webinar hosted by, We Work Well, Brown reported that as markets have begun to recover, Accor’s remote European resort locations have fared well due to the allure of a return to nature, a secluded location and the promise of a focus on wellness.

“From an industry point of view, this is great because spas are receiving more recognition as a revenue driver across these resorts,” said Brown.

However, he explained that COVID-19 has significantly disrupted business at Accor’s European city spa locations.

“Our city locations are a different story, because previously they relied on internal guest capture, but now because European cities are flat with tourism they’ve got to compete with an established local day spa market.”

But, he argued that there is an opportunity for these city spas to stand out, which requires a ‘completely different headspace’ focused on CRM, marketing and a strong presence on social media.

“The good news is that these luxury properties have an edge and can offer things that day spas can’t – for example, hotels are more open to creating overarching wellness packages, plus they’ve got the option of strong commercial planning to help them maximise advantages by expanding wellness and wellbeing into other parts of the location.”

Webinar host, Lisa Starr, asked Brown whether he thought hoteliers would get on board with leveraging the local market in this way?

He responded by saying that they already are.

“We’re seeing groups react positively, and I believe city spas will be seen as a much more important thing to draw people into hotels.

“The next step is for these locations to become commercially viable and address things like pricing in comparison to local competitors, increasing the importance of retail sale, yielding and definitely look at surge pricing on weekends vs weekdays.

“Even though tourism isn’t what it was, the hotel spa’s advantage is still there if you want to leverage it in the right way.

“Now is a time to set commercial values for long term success,” he concluded.

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Accor’s global VP of wellbeing, Emlyn Brown, believes COVID-19 has provided a platform for hotel spas in city locations to leverage the local market and become a crucial revenue driver.
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