Retail

Bringing In Future Hotel Loyalists With Fitness Passes

Hotel Gyms

Business trips are necessary, but they can put a strain on the health and wellness of traveling employees. A recent study published in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) found that those who spend more than a half or so month away from home were “significantly more likely” to report negative health effects, such as trouble sleeping, anxiety and “poor self-rated health.” The study also found that those who travel 21 nights or more a so-called “ultra-traveling group” had “higher diastolic blood pressure and lower high-density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol).”

With these challenges in mind, subscriptions such as Sanctifly help employers provide their employees a healthy alternative to that drink or steak, with the option to get in a quick workout or spa experience while they’re waiting for their flights and bring in potential guests for hotels. Sanctifly’s app aggregates healthy alternatives for travelers, such as hotel gyms, pools and spas  and, with the app, travelers can find and use those facilities without having to spend money on an overnight stay. There’s plenty to find: The app has partners at around 100 airports, ranging from those lounges to large chain hotels and even some smaller boutique hotels and spas. In addition, the app allows travelers to enjoy the simple pleasure of having a shower at an airport lounge, or a workout at airport gyms, such as ROAM Fitness at BWI Airport in Maryland.

Companies can also encourage this healthy behavior by buying memberships for their travelling employees.

“That’s really our core play,” Sanctifly Founder Karl Llewellyn told PYMNTS.com in an interview. And, if you think the service is only for the very athletic-minded, the idea behind Sanctifly isn’t for those training for a marathon or a weight-lifting competition: It’s for everyday travelers seeking to relax. This isn’t “about doing the big workout,” Llewellyn said, adding that the company is not “about selling super fitness.”

Bringing New Customers Into Hotels

Though Sanctifly provides basic access to the facilities, the company’s pitch to hotels is that subscribers will do more than laps in the pool or hit the treadmill for 30 minutes. These customers may spend money at other hotel concessions, such as the restaurant, and those sales can be sizeable. “We believe the true revenue to [the] partner is close to $50,” Llewellyn said, adding that figure is significant for non-room revenue. Beyond the hotel restaurant, business travelers might be introduced to a new hotel to stay at for future business trip or a location for a future meeting.

“They really do look at the customer as an opportunity to convert for further revenue,” Llewellyn said. “We see that happening with our best partners.”

One-Time Passes

Besides memberships, Sanctifly has another product that it markets for one-time use. Blue, as they call it, is targeted toward any traveler who might have a “disruptive traveler experience,” whether they experience a flight delay or cancellation. These passes are often provided to consumers as a loyalty benefit through a rewards program for companies, such as phone providers or banks. And there is a quite a market for this service. So far, Llewellyn said, he has sold 50,000 of the passes.

“This is our go-to product for [these] kind of loyalty reward programs,” Llewellyn said.

Currently, Sanctifly is onboarding its first customers and working with existing members to convert them to champions that can promote the brand. The first step for the company is getting feedback and the next step is getting them to bring new customers to the platform. Going forward, Llewellyn said the company seeks to be the global leader in travel wellness aggregation.

Services such as Sanctifly come as HBR recommends that employers provide their employees with fitness opportunities on the road. And, when employees do check in to hotels for the night, “one fairly simple thing employers can do is to ensure that their preferred accommodations have well-equipped gyms,” according to the review.

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