Sports, leisure, travel and hospitality are fast moving sectors. There are always new trends and tips to keep your beady eye on. Here we round up 5 of the top ones for 2016 and beyond.
1. The end of gym membership plans?
2015 was the year of the rise of the boutique gym.
Spinning, boxing, yoga, cross fit, barre or muay Thai only gyms were the place to be.
It saw a massive rise in these niche offerings, pop up classes and new online subscription platforms. As well as outdoor fitness classes. These type of classes mainly operate on a pay as you go basis, which benefits the end user hugely as they don't need to commit to a minimum length contract. Larger gyms are responding to this trend by increasing their offering of specialised fitness classes and developing onsite facilities like healthy restaurants, juice bars, nutritionists, spas and childcare in a bid to retain members.
Let's not forget that many people still prefer the convenience and amenities found at gyms like showers, towel service and lockers which are often not present at the smaller studios. What remains crystal clear is that fitness is a thriving industry that shows no sign of slowing down in 2016.
2. Mega Events
The sports industry continues to thrive, driving this is the legacy of the London Olympics in 2012, The Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, the Rugby Union World Cup in 2015 and World Athletics Championship in 2017. This year in August we see the 2016 Olympics hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, expected to further build upon this legacy. Although the flurry of interest is expected to be less than during the London Olympics, we think it's safe to say that in August you can expect to see lots of people perfecting their butterfly stroke at your local pool!
3. The Rise of the Staycation
As a result of the economic downturn more and more Brits are taking short trips at home rather than venturing further to foreign shores. It seems that although the economy has now improved, the pre-recession mind-set prevails. Short trips are by far the fastest growing area of domestic vacations. Making Butlins, Centre Parcs and other favourites a viable alternative to a foreign holiday for families. This is great news for UK based holiday parks, hotels and leisure attractions as they continue to capitalise on increased visitor numbers.
4. Business Savvy Wearable Tech
We've now all heard of and probably seen the Apple Watch. The popularity of wearable tech for monitoring health and activity has surged over recent years, with a massive rise in Fit bits, Jawbones Ups and others to name but a few.
Clever wearable tech such as MYZONE has been developed is now being marketed through gyms and health clubs, this type of monitoring software encourages group collaboration as well as individual goals –thus ensuring engagement at the club/group level as well as the personal level. Savvy!
5. Hotels get smarter
2015 was the year that saw Japan open its hotel solely manned by Robots. Although we're a little behind that just yet, mobile technology, including online bookings, mobile payments and online checking in and out have drastically changed the way we use hotels. We're seeing many more hotels offering late check outs for no extra charge, some hotels are set to experiment with 24 hour charging blocks, meaning if you'd checked in at 4pm you would be asked to check out at 4pm the following day, this has already been adopted by the Patina Hotel Group.
Wi-Fi is set to improve even further with some hotels and chains already giving free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel for guests, so no more scrabbling for a signal in the lobby!
We continue to see a rise in Loyalty programmes and client participation in them, in the hospitality sector, with a new generation of millennial travellers loyalty programmes can be the key to building engagement for hotels. They are also a great way of showing appreciation for your most loyal guests as well as offering a more sophisticated approach to targeting them with relevant marketing messages and offers.
So that's it, the low down on what you need to watch out for in 2016 and beyond to ensure you stay ahead of the game!