Spa experts call for more benchmarking

Speakers at Hotelier's Spa and Wellness Forum discuss sharing of information

Panel discussion: Spa Positioning - what is its role in a hotel?
Panel discussion: Spa Positioning - what is its role in a hotel?

Panellists at the Hotelier Middle East Spa & Wellness Forum 2015 discussed the benefits of benchmarking and called for more collaborations between spas to share information.

During panel session ‘Spa positioning – what is its role in a hotel?’ led by Aoibheanna Bonner, corporate director of spa operations, Rotana, panellists agreed on the need for more benchmarking in the spa industry in the Middle East.

Park Hyatt spa manager Ghassan Amer commented: “I think it’s very good to study your business, analyse your strengths and weaknesses and see the behaviour of your customers.

“With my colleagues we always keep in touch to share figures and see how things are going in the spa and I think there should be a spa council for the UAE.”

Emirates palace spa director Hannah Dowd agreed that a forum for sharing information would be beneficial to the region’s spas.

“I think there’s a need for it so we can share figures among hotels. A lot of companies are not willing to do so however.

“If they’re protective about financials we can look at other areas where we can do benchmarking, for example at city spas vs resorts so we can have an idea of what’s happening in the rest of the UAE in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai.”

Bonner added that she believes benchmarking reports are useful “as long as spa managers are using it to identify trends and not just for the sake of writing a report.”

Ritz-Carlton Dubai director of spa Maria Haggo agreed with Bonner, saying: “Absolutely, if you’re only comparing yourself to yourself how do you know how well you’re doing?

“At Marriott International, we’re quite detailed and we share how our different brands are doing internally but we’re comparing ourselves to different markets, so it’s not really apples to apples.

“I believe there was something in place a few years ago and it’s worth picking up to set goals. On behalf of Marriott International, we’re still committed to being part of that.”

Zaya Retreats Michael Monsod, Zaya Retreats director of spa and recreation added that sharing results and targets within the team is also important.

He commented: “Benchmarking is really important and it’s important to share with your team as well because they need to know, they need to understand what your targets are and how to get them.

“The KPIs are a great way to illustrate your targets and how you’re doing beside your competitors so definitely share these with your team, don’t just talk to them about treatments, but also the financial side of the business.”

The Hotelier Spa & Wellness Forum, took place today March 10 at Grosvenor House Dubai and was attended by more than 160 spa & wellness professionals from the UAE and beyond.

The event was in association with Lucrea General Trading and exhibitors at the event were ManageMySpa and RNS Beauty Personal Care & Equipment.

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