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SpaFinder Shows Travelers Looking for Wellness and Pampering

Posted: August 20, 2009

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Wallet-consciousness is also reflected in the most frequently booked per-night price: 74% of spa travel booked in ’09 falls under $299 a night, and price ranges over $300 all experienced declines from 2008. Last year, 60% of spa travel fell in the $250–$399 range, while this year 60% falls in the lower $200 to $299 range.

Wellness or ‘benefit’ travel continues to spike

Health and wellness spa offerings continue to rank as a critical factor for travelers, with 83% of agents reporting it’s either ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ important to their clients. But spa travelers demand both wellness and ‘pampering’ elements. 96% of agents report ‘traditional pampering’ elements also rank as important. Spirituality offerings such as yoga and meditation are also gaining in importance. And with consumers sensitive about the economy and justifying their spending, 52% of agents report that travelers are notably more interested in ‘benefit’ vacations—those hitting a spa for tangible benefits like weight loss, fitness, etc.—in 2009.

The ‘AIG effect’

With well-publicized criticism of AIG’s spa resort ‘spree’ in late ’08, agents were queried on its impact on their group business/corporate spa travel. While 55% report the AIG story had some impact on their clients’ travel decisions, 45% reported it had no effect. However, this relatively modest ‘AIG effect” has exhibited staying power: 76% report it’s either remained an issue or escalated for their clients since.