Spas undervalued by hotel GMs

Hotel general managers across the region have admitted to not viewing spa facilities as being essential to their hotel's success.
Spas undervalued by hotel GMs
By Louise Oakley
Tue 27 May 2008 10:01 AM

Hotel general managers across the region have admitted to not viewing spa facilities as being essential to their hotel's success.

This is according to findings from the Hotelier Middle East GM Survey, which was carried out with 125 hotel general managers from across the region between April and May of this year.

When asked to rate the three factors most important to the success of their hotel from a list of 11 options, only 8.2% of respondents chose spa facilities.

This is compared to 27.8% of GMs that rated meeting facilities highly and 25.8% that selected F&B as a key factor in success, for example.

Michael Sagild, chief operating officer of Minor International, which operates spas under the Anantara and Mandara brands, said the lack of value given to a spa by GMs was down to one basic factor - "ignorance".

"They don't realise that their spas could generate significantly more profit than their food and beverage outlets," he said.

Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai spa and health club manager Mike Monsod said he was somewhat disappointed by the survey's findings.

"It shows how much further the spa industry has to go in terms of recognition within an establishment. There are still GMs that are not familiar with the potential of the industry thus limiting their support and recognition of the department."

The GM respondents also reported that 5.24% of their hotel's gross operating profit was from spa and recreation.

Monsod revealed that it was slightly less than that at the Shangri-La but more during peak periods.

Regarding how spas could maximise revenues and increase profits, Monsod added: "Retail is definitely an area which can be improved in most facilities. I also believe that smart pricing and matching your services to the demands of the clients will contribute more to a healthy bottom line."

For more on the reactions of spa professionals to the Hotelier Middle East GM Survey, plus a full interview with Michael Sagild, COO of Minor International, see the June issue of Leisure Manager.

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