How Anantara successfully attracts health conscious guests
Hotel brand uses marathon trend to reach new customers.
In light of today’s travellers being more and more health conscious, hotels are now increasingly looking at how to factor this into their offerings. One way to do this is to introduce specific health, wellness and fitness amenities in-room or as part of your facilities (read about this in detail in our previous post), but another way is to appeal to this group of customers by marketing your property through other avenues.
Asia based luxury hotel group Anantara (a brand operated under Minor Hotels) is a perfect fit for upmarket globe-trotting guests looking to kick back and relax within its tranquil resorts. Each property is usually accompanied by sumptuous spa facilities, making them automatically appealing to those customers looking for a wellness break.
To promote their hotels to fitness enthusiasts, Anantara has leveraged sporting events near to select properties, with a focus on targeting high-end guests who are running marathons in Asia. Two weekends ago saw their Siem Reap hotel welcome guests who were taking part (or cheering on participants) in the Khmur Empire marathon — a charity run of up to 42km through the iconic World Heritage site and ancient temples of Angkor Wat.
The marathon attracts professional and amateur runners from all over Asia and globally, with many being weekend visitors from neighbouring countries looking to take part. As one of Cambodia’s busiest sporting weekends (marathons happen in August and December each year), the Anantara Angkor hotel puts together a special package to facilitate the experience for its guests.
The package (for a three-night stay or more) includes Khmer Empire Marathon tickets for two people (with a choice of 3, 10, 21 or 42km options), transportation to the starting point, and breakfast daily for two people. Massages are also included to help heal tired muscles, as well as a champagne brunch to celebrate completion of the marathon.
Having run the marathon last year and stayed with Anantara (booking this package specifically), our trip was made much easier. On arrival, all information was automatically shared with us by the concierge, and the mini-bar was stocked with complimentary energy snacks and bananas. Transportation to the starting point was a huge help — as the early start meant we were leaving the hotel at 5am. With so many people attending the event, the hotel made sure we could always get transportation, with a phone given to us to call the hotel Tuk Tuk or taxi service directly.
Mookmanee Kiokaew, from Anantara’s PR team, tells us that targeting the annual marathon event with a specific package has successfully enabled the hotel to attract and secure guests from other geographical markets. She says, “We launched our marathon package last year and have since then seen an increase in sales over race periods. For example, for the December 2017 marathon we were almost at full occupancy.”
While the August marathon has just happened, Mookmanee says that bookings for this year’s December package have already been flooding in. “We have received a lot of bookings for the next marathon weekend, even though it’s not until December. What’s more, guests are also now booking services outside of what’s included in the package so we are able to upsell.”
Over in Thailand, the brand’s Phuket property is also taking advantage of a marathon package. The Anantara Layan Phuket Resort looked after runners for this year’s Laguna Phuket Marathon which took place in June — one of South East Asia’s biggest runs. Similar to the Angkor resort, the hotel offered a marathon escape package including a pre-fuel buffet dinner the night before the race of pizza and pasta.
Pete Amnajthalerngsak, of Minor Hotels PR team, said the package has indeed helped the hotel gain additional bookings, and they are also on track for full occupancy for Phuket’s November marathon. He says that like Anantara’s Angkor property, they have also been able to attract new customers who are looking for a luxurious break alongside a sporting event.
The general consensus is that not only do these packages greatly help to make the experience smoother for guests, but they enable the hotels to reach new customers specifically searching for information surrounding marathons. Once guests stay at the hotels, they are introduced to the brand with the aim of turning them into loyal customers.
On whether they consider packages as an important part of Anantara’s marketing strategy, both Pete and Mookmanee said yes. “We find that successful packages help to attract more clients. Not only are they easy for guests to book but customers then also refer these packages to others,” commented Mookmanee.
“They also help us target potential guests who have specific needs or intent,” added Pete. “This combined with the convenience of package inclusions works well for us,” he concluded.