Wellness trend the new boost to hotel franchise
The latest hotel concept to arrive in Australia fits right into the trend for wellbeing. Matthew Tripolone, head of development – Australasia, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) explains.
Why is the wellness market important to the hotel market?
According to the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness industry is a $3.7 trillion sector, with wellness tourism contributing to $536 billion of the total value. Seeing this overwhelming opportunity area, and after more than 24 months of consumer insights research, in 2012 IHG launched EVEN Hotels, staking a claim for IHG in the wellness space.
As our CEO Richard Solomons said, “We have a track record of delivering on hotel industry firsts, and we’re doing it again by staking our claim in the wellness space within the affordable lifestyle category. This brand is yet another example of how we are constantly innovating to meet the changing needs of consumers.”
In our 2017 Trends Report, IHG challenges brands to address the paradoxes that are driving the decisions of today’s uncompromising customers.
The report argues that a brand cannot be a single idea, but a complex, multi-dimensional solution that includes differentiating features, functional, emotional and social benefits as well as a distinctive brand character. That’s what EVEN Hotels delivers.
From wellness-savvy staff, to guest room Fitness Zones with in-room trainers and fitness equipment, and an Athletic Studio in each property with the best in class equipment, EVEN Hotels help guests stay physically active in their own way throughout their stay.
The brand fulfils each guest’s needs for personalisation, while still staying true to the overall EVEN ‘wellness promise’: “Eat Well, Rest Easy and Accomplish More.”
How is the wellness model being rolled out?
In partnership with Pro-invest Group we will develop a portfolio of EVEN Hotels across key Australian and New Zealand capital cities and economic hubs. This is the first portfolio for the brand to be developed outside the US where we have six EVEN Hotels, and an additional six in development.
We are working closely with our partners at Pro-invest to secure the ideal locations for these properties – likely to be within capital cities along the eastern seaboard of Australia initially, and within key business and tourism hot spots across both Australia and New Zealand.
Beyond the physical property, EVEN Hotels supports the needs of travellers through a wellness travel site (wellwellwell.com) written by a dedicated editorial team of health and wellness leaders, lifestyle experts and seasoned travellers, as a go-to source for healthier, happier travel.
What opportunities will there be for franchisees?
IHG has established a strong hotel franchising model to provide owners and investors in Australia, such as Pro-invest, with a reliable and profitable alternative to our equally-successful management model.
We are open to franchising our brands in strategically important locations - with the right partner.
What emphasis will this wellness focus have on the broader IHG expansion plan?
The announcement of EVEN Hotels’ arrival into Australia was a significant one for us. In addition to focusing on strategic expansion of our core brands of InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, the boutique and lifestyle hotel segment is a huge opportunity area.
We have recently announced the signing of Australia’s first Hotel Indigo properties (a world-leading boutique brand), and EVEN Hotels is yet another new lifestyle brand for Australian and New Zealand travellers. We are seeing consumer demand for more personalised travel experiences increase, and are responding to this with the arrival of these exciting new brands.