Spa and golf are a perfect match for attracting couples to resorts because generally speaking, guys love golf (or spelt backwards – flog!) and girls love spas (even golf-loving girls love spas). So spa/golf packages are a great couple-alluring campaign which hotels and resorts may incorporate into their marketing plans to increase occupancy and revenue, whether the property actually has these facilities on-site or not.
Yes, hotels and resorts may still offer spa and golf packages even if they do not have a golf course or a spa on-site. Here’s how:
- Properties without spas – arrange co-operative marketing campaigns with local day spas.
- Properties without golf courses – arrange co-operative marketing campaigns with local golf courses.
- Properties with neither facility – arrange co-operative marketing campaigns with both types of businesses to expand your target market to include travellers interested in spa and golf experiences.
How to Develop Spa/Golf Packages
It is obviously important to develop packages which provide value to guests so the spa/golf package is cheaper overall compared to arranging separate golf and spa activities on top of their accommodation rate after they arrive at the destination.
To maximise the guest experience, the policies and procedures required to deliver the package as promised should be documented and implemented with all parties involved. This is particularly important if the facilities on-site are outsourced to other businesses.
To maximise revenue for the hotel/resort, the package could require both guests to experience both activities. To convince the guys to attend the spa component, include a private couples’ room and promote the sports massage as perfect to relieve tired muscles after a round of golf. However, as an alternative to expand the target market for this promotion and attract those couples that do not share the same passions, the package could be flexible to suggest while the guy plays golf, the girl relaxes at the spa.
If the package is arranged with local golf courses and/or day spas, there are a few extra challenges which should be considered:
- Guest transportation – is this included in the package with a hotel car supplied?
- Chargeback – what is the payment arrangement between the hotel/resort and the external business for use of their spa and golf services? What documentation is needed to confirm the guest actually received the services? What is the outcome for no-shows?
- Maps and other promotional items – which party is responsible for developing these? Is this a shared cost or is it factored into the service price?
- Reservations procedures – Will the golf course/spa reserve an allocation for the hotel/resort to ensure availability for guests booking the package? Should the guest make the golf course/spa booking direct with the business once the package is reserved with the hotel/resort so they may choose a suitable day and time? If so, they should be encouraged to confirm their bookings quickly to ensure availability. Will the guest have a choice of spa treatments?
How to Promote Spa/Golf Packages
As the ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy does not always work, it is important to develop a marketing plan to support the campaign and generate sales of the package. Some ideas are described below:
- One of the most important activities needed to sell the golf/spa package is to develop a script for reservations staff to use when guests are making enquiries and bookings, to increase awareness of the package option and highlight its value and benefits.
- Advertise the package on the hotel/resort web site as well as the spa and golf web sites if they are separate.
- Advise relevant sales staff of the golf/spa package details.
- Clearly communicate the package details to travel agents so they too can promote and sell the package.
- If multiple properties managed by a hotel chain are able to offer a golf/spa package, then a group campaign may be developed and the package may be cross-promoted at all properties, for all properties.
There are many synergies for golf and spa activities from the guest perspective so hotels and resorts may take the opportunity to tap into this growing target market.
By Julie Garrow (Intelligent Spas Pte Ltd)