Time for Hoteliers to Assess their Fitness Technology

As we look to the next wave of customer demand, offering guests a tech-driven connected fitness experience will enable guests to workout where and how they want with no disruption to their usual routine.
a person sitting at a desk in front of a window

It’s safe to say that the last two years have been stressful for almost every individual across the globe and it’s no surprise why. The pandemic brought an unexpected wave of debilitating change, leading to the loss of loved ones, jobs and the mental space needed to navigate these turbulent times.

As we continue to forge ahead, it makes sense that more and more people are prioritizing health and wellness in everything they do to re-establish some sense of wellbeing.

Whether working remotely or utilizing well-deserved vacation time, fitness has emerged as an essential remedy to relieve stress and renew physical health. For individuals looking for ways to relieve stress, this not only means exercising regularly at home, but also finding ways to stay physically active while traveling.

Travelers now expect to have the ability to maintain and improve their fitness while staying in a hotel, from group yoga sessions and fitness programming to local running maps. As we look to the next wave of customer demand, offering guests a tech-driven connected fitness experience will enable guests to workout where and how they want with no disruption to their usual routine.

The Evolution of Hotel Fitness

Back in the ‘80s, patrons began demanding more from their hotels than simply a place to lay their heads – they wanted a comfortable temporary living experience enhanced with spas, pools and, of course, a gym. Ten years later, nearly half of all U.S. hotels had gyms on-site.

At that point, hotel gyms were nothing more than a few pieces of equipment and some weights nestled in an unused guest bedroom, sometimes even in the basement. Think: no frills, plainly functional and not the most appeasing sight for the eye.

It wasn’t until the early 2000s when hoteliers began investing millions of dollars in ‘state-of-the-art’ machinery, placed in carefully designed interior spaces. Today, hotel operators continue to turn to modern fitness equipment and technology to enhance the guest experience, underscoring how essential wellness is in today's post-pandemic world.

Redefining Personalized Training

As technology and fitness continue to merge, people are looking for personalized fitness experiences that make it easier for them to achieve their fitness goals.

To meet this need, hoteliers have historically hired or outsourced personal trainers to guide specially curated workouts for guests. However, fitness training has become more niche and personalized, making it more difficult to provide a single space or instructor that caters to all guests, especially as social distancing measures continue to be enforced.

To go a step beyond the ‘one-size-fits-all’ exercise model, hoteliers will need to create hyper-personalized experiences for patrons of different ages, genders, goals and fitness capabilities. Fortunately, today’s ultra-connected world has opened new opportunities to deliver this customization from the enormous amount of data on hand.

Now that we’re at the precipice of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and predictive analytics, the integration of technology into the fitness experience allows hotels to offer hyper-personalized experiences to help guests stay motivated to meet their wellness goals, whether it's fitness, rest or mindfulness.

On-Demand Availability

Fitness routines can fly out the window while traveling. Between trying to rest, explore or even work in a new location, finding time in the day to squeeze a workout in can feel almost impossible. Plus, with the onset of the pandemic, this became even more of a challenge as hotel gyms and fitness centers–indoor spaces with poor ventilation, heavy breathing and shared equipment–closed their doors to ensure guest safety.

As corporate travel is expected to ramp up through the latter half of 2022, hoteliers can leverage sophisticated technology to provide guests with seamless fitness experiences that flex to accommodate their busy schedules. Rather than trying to find the perfect time to exercise or booking a fitness class they may have to cancel, business travelers can now rest easy knowing they have unlimited, ultra-convenient access to health and fitness while on the go.

Redefined Social Workout Experiences

Global wellness trends are showing a growing demand for group workouts, but the truth is that post-pandemic travel can often be solitary.

Group virtual and live-streamed classes are an effective substitute for gym goers looking to stay active while traveling, while also establishing an active sense of community and accountability. These virtual fitness options are also capable of catering to those who prefer to workout in the privacy of their own space, but are still energized by an immersive, group-fitness experience.

Furthermore, as the hospitality industry prioritizes fitness and wellbeing for its guests in safe and sanitary environments, some of the world’s largest hotel brands are now implementing in-room fitness programs to provide guests with a well-rounded fitness experience in a private space. space. Hyatt’s Stay Fit Private Fitness program, for example, is now available at select properties, where a guestroom has been transformed into private suites with a range of exercise equipment, from cardio to strength training. The fully equipped guestrooms – which will include a Peloton Bike, Precor treadmill, and other premium fitness essentials – can be booked for one-hour increments, and provide guests peace of mind to exercise in a convenient, clean and private space. 

All Signs Point to Connected Fitness

From streamed workouts on smart devices to fitness applications and wearables that monitor your physical activity, connected fitness has redefined what it means to exercise. With advancements in AI/ML technologies and virtual reality, this notion of connected fitness will continue to transform the gym experience by combining our wellness goals with our digital lives.

Riding on the heels of the pandemic, connected fitness will be the key for travelers hoping to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle, while also prioritizing safety. Mobilizing connected fitness within the hotel, specifically, will enable guests to stay connected with their communities, while also empowering them to work towards and track their personal wellness goals no matter where they are in the world. As guest expectations continue to shift toward hyper-personalized experiences, it’s time for the industry to step up to the plate and forge ahead to the future of connected fitness.