This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

November 6, 2013

Healthy Hotel Rooms

As more of us who are Road Warriors endeavor to stay healthy on the road, the hospitality industry is responding with new menus, new designs, and new opportunities to help us focus on our own wellbeing. Now, those brands and others from cruise lines to convention hotels are beginning to understand that for a segment of the traveling public, health and wellness are a top priority.

Hilton's spa suites, notably in the Hilton Sydney and some of its other top hotels, feature over size Jacuzzi tubs, bath salts, and aromatherapy, along with other special amenities. Moreover, the JW Marriott brand offers private sanctuaries, personal fitness, and general wellness opportunities.

According to the Global Business Travel Association's "2013 European business traveler well-being study", 65 percent of the respondents surveyed said maintaining a healthy diet while traveling was important. Likewise, like our author, 46 percent responded that staying with their exercise regimens when traveling for business was a priority. Over the next five years, wellness tourism is expected to grow by 9.9 percent annually, reaching USD $678.5 billion by 2017, representing 16 percent of total revenues of all tourism.

In recent years, an innovation on Holland America and Norwegian cruise lines is "spa staterooms" and now MGM Resorts International is converting an entire floor of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to "Stay Well" rooms. Each of these specially equipped rooms may include a Vitamin C shower infusion, air purification systems, water filtration systems, light therapy, blackout shades, access to Cleveland Clinic wellness software, healthy in-room menu, and special minibar options.

In some of its Tryp Hotels, forward-thinking Wyndham is offering, rooms equipped with exercise machines and complimentary exercise clothing.

InterContinental Hotels Group, that includes Holiday Inns, has taken this concept one step further; it has created its own brand focused on health and wellness. As a result of customer research, the Even Hotels brand was created. Each stunning minimalist hotel room features a weight bench that doubles as a luggage rack and a coat rack that becomes a pull-up bar. Yoga mats offer the ideal amenity for Pilates and yoga, while the circuit-training guide offers everything you need for an effective in-room workout.

Kudos to IHG for seeing the huge advantage in catering to road warriors who want to stay healthy on the road. There are far too many hotel menus that still offer a majority of high fat, high-calorie, unhealthy foods. Our forecast is that like IHG, Hilton and Marriott will jump on the healthy hotel bandwagon and discover that for many road warriors and their employers, staying healthy is a high priority.

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