Spa STAR, a benchmarking program directed by Smith Travel Research (STR), reported July 30 that prices at US luxury hotel spas may be down by as much as 13 percent from last year, as high-end hoteliers have increasingly turned to discount offers in an attempt to attract customers during the economic downturn.
Many hotels have been left with no choice but to offer price reductions. According to Spa STAR, the price of a one-hour treatment session at an average luxury hotel spa decreased by 13 percent between June 2008 and June 2009, going from US$137 down to US$121.
While hotel spa revenue has declined, the number of customers has remained almost unchanged. The STR report suggests that the discounting of treatments kept spa traffic from declining.
“The luxury hotel industry is facing a very tough operating environment,” stated Jan D. Freitag, vice president of Smith Travel Research. “The luxury spas in those hotels have not been immune to the effects.”
The news release says that luxury hotel spas have made an effort to cater to local residents to offset the losses in occupancy caused by the global decline in tourism.
“It stands to reason that operators are now giving renewed attention to local business, which seems to have the desired effects,” Mr. Freitag said.