Today's Hotelier - September 2016 - 8

LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAn 2016-2017 aahoa board of directors aahoa officers Wellness travel is here to stay bharat (bruce) Patel AAHOA Chairman (2016‑2017) T HE SIGN of A SuCCESSfuL business plan is to identify a gap in the market and then find a profitable way to fill it. How many times have we heard people say that they cannot stay in shape because they are always traveling? Well, they are not alone. According to Joel Eisemann, chief development officer, The Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), "Our research showed that there are 17 million travelers in the U.S. who find it hard to stay active and eat right, and that they 'fall off the wagon' when traveling." Skift, an online travel-industry intelligence platform, shows that wellness tourism is a $494-billion business, and growing, up 12.3 percent between 2014 and 2015. This combination results in one of the biggest revenue opportunities in recent memory. As you will read in this issue, IHG recognized this opportunity and capitalized on it in 2012, launching EVEN Hotels, the first health-centric brand in the hotel industry. Similarly, Westin's introduction of the Heavenly Bed in 1999 was an early step toward guest wellness. Almost immediately Westin noted an improvement in customer satisfaction and loyalty. Since then Westin has introduced numerous wellness initiatives, including its partnerships with Fitbit and New Balance, Tangent workspaces, run concierges and more. Once reserved for exclusive spa resorts, wellness services now are expanding into every market. This means that no matter the size or type of your property, you can expand your wellness-focused amenities to offer the kind of experience for which up-and-coming travelers are looking. Research shows that guests are actively searching out hotels that provide them with amenities that help them maintain their exercise, diet and sleep routines while on the road. Earlier this year, IHG was listed as one of the "Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Fitness" by Fast Company for the creation of its EVEN brand. EVEN is in high demand among not only consumers, but developers too. According to Eisemann, "The growth strategy for EVEN hotels is through both new builds and conversions," generating "considerable interest from existing IHG owners as well as other owners." Eisemann went on to add, "Wellness is not just a fad - it's become critical to the way of doing business and catering to the health-conscious traveler." The success of Westin and IHG's business plans is evident - they identified gaps in the wellness market and found ways to fill them. If the success of these health-centric brands - as well as the many other brands with wellness initiatives - is any indication, wellness travel is here to stay. The unmistakable shift among travelers to a more health-conscious lifestyle is both an opportunity and responsibility for hoteliers, and I encourage you to make the most of it. 8  | SEpTEMbER 2016 | TODAYSHOTELIER.COM bharat (bruce) Patel, cho Chairman bhavesh b. Patel, cho Vice Chairman hitesh (hP) Patel, cha, cho Treasurer Jagruti Panwala, cho Secretary Female Director at Large (Eastern) chip rogers President & CEO Jay r. (Jimmy) Patel, cho immediate Past Chairman regional directors ashok (alan) Patel Alabama Panhandle Regional Director Priyesh P. Patel Central Midwest Regional Director Jayesh (Jay) Patel, cha Florida Regional Director kapil Patel Georgia Regional Director Vipin (bavaji) Patel, cho Gulf Regional Director sanjay (sam) Patel, cho Mid Atlantic Regional Director heetesh Patel Mid South Regional Director rashmikant (haji) Patel North Carolina Regional Director dilipkumar s. Patel, cho North Central Regional Director suresh (sP) Patel North Pacific Regional Director biran Patel, cho North Texas Regional Director Jayesh r. Patel, cho Northeast Regional Director komal-tina Patel, cho Northwest Regional Director Mahesh (Mike) Patel South Carolina Regional Director girish (gary) Patel, cho South Central Texas Regional Director timesh Patel, cho South Pacific Regional Director Vikas M. desai Southeast Texas Regional Director imesh Vaidya, cho Southwest Regional Director kalpesh M. Joshi, cho upper Midwest Regional Director Vinay kumar (Vinay) Patel Washington District Regional Director directors at large Vipul dayal Director at Large Jayesh (Jay) lallu, cho Director at Large faheem khan, cho Allied Director at Large navnit (nick) Patel Director at Large dina Patel, cho Female Director at Large (Western) binita a. Patel, cha, MMh Young Professional Director at Large (Eastern) nishant Patel Young Professional Director at Large (Western) http://www.TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - September 2016

Letter From the Chairman
Letter From the President & Ceo
News Bytes
AAHOA Spotlight
Government Affairs
5 Easy Ways to Become a Health‑Conscious Hotelier
4 Points of the Traveler's Journey
Navigating to Healthful
The Latest Strategies in Achieving Sustainability Savings
Employee Training
Sales & Marketing
Finance Q&A
AAHOA Founding Members
AAHOA Event Shots
Advertiser Index

Today's Hotelier - September 2016