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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Editor’s letter: Fitness tourism

You’ve got used to your members living just round the corner and it’s true that a typical gym catchment area is normally a 20 minute travel time, but that all seems to be changing as fitness tourism emerges as a new trend

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 7
What can you do to make your club attractive to fitness tourists? / Photo: the gym group
What can you do to make your club attractive to fitness tourists? / Photo: the gym group
To attract fitness tourists, you need to have something special to offer and be nimble and responsive, but you don’t have to be big – size doesn’t matter

The Global Wellness Institute identified wellness tourism as a US$563bn market in 2015, with growth between 2013 and 2015 recorded at 14 per cent – more than twice that of overall tourism expenditure at 6.9 per cent.

When it comes to numbers, 691m wellness trips were recorded in 2015, 104.4m more than 2013. New figures are out soon and expected to show continued growth.

The health and fitness segment of the global wellness market is feeling the impact of this growth in wellness tourism, with more people committed to their fitness than ever before, seeking out new or challenging fitness offerings.

Technology and the growth of aggregators is driving and underpinning this trend, making it easier for people to find out about innovative offerings and to access and afford them.

Fitness festivals are part of it, enabling people to buy a specialist holiday break based around their fitness and wellbeing.

You need to have something special on offer to attract them and be nimble and responsive, but size doesn’t seem to matter.

In the last issue of HCM, we talked to the team behind Steel Warriors, the charity set up to turn knives, confiscated on the street by London’s police force, into callisthenics street gyms.

Although a small single site (so far), Steel Warriors is already reporting that it’s attracting fitness tourists.

At the other end of the scale, in this issue we talk to Ralph Scholz, the man charged with the job of bringing McFIT’s new 20,000sq m mega health and fitness development to life in Oberhausen, Germany (see our report on page 48).

Called The Mirai, the €50m development will be free to use, says Scholz, with revenues coming from a range of deals, such as the hire of conference space, permanent trade show areas and upselling of services such as personal training and nutrition advice.

But again, one anticipated source of revenue will be fitness tourists. Scholz says: “The aim is to establish The Mirai as a tourist attraction with a fitness orientation.”

He also says: “The Mirai isn’t primarily about money – perhaps we wouldn’t be doing it if it were. Yes, we have to balance the books. However, when you’re the leading player in Europe’s fitness market, as McFit is, you have to find new challenges to tackle!”

Last month I had a go at booking a class at a gym I’d heard great things about in a city I was visiting for one night – I had to fill in a form on their website and unfortunately, it took them two weeks to call me back, so a missed opportunity.

Are you ready to take advantage of this emerging trend?

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/338229_404261.jpg
'To attract fitness tourists you need to have something special to offer and be nimble and responsive. You don't have to be big – size doesn't matter' – says HCM editor Liz Terry
Liz Terry, editor,Fitness tourism, new trends, Global Wellness Institute
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features

Editor’s letter: Fitness tourism

You’ve got used to your members living just round the corner and it’s true that a typical gym catchment area is normally a 20 minute travel time, but that all seems to be changing as fitness tourism emerges as a new trend

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 7
What can you do to make your club attractive to fitness tourists? / Photo: the gym group
What can you do to make your club attractive to fitness tourists? / Photo: the gym group
To attract fitness tourists, you need to have something special to offer and be nimble and responsive, but you don’t have to be big – size doesn’t matter

The Global Wellness Institute identified wellness tourism as a US$563bn market in 2015, with growth between 2013 and 2015 recorded at 14 per cent – more than twice that of overall tourism expenditure at 6.9 per cent.

When it comes to numbers, 691m wellness trips were recorded in 2015, 104.4m more than 2013. New figures are out soon and expected to show continued growth.

The health and fitness segment of the global wellness market is feeling the impact of this growth in wellness tourism, with more people committed to their fitness than ever before, seeking out new or challenging fitness offerings.

Technology and the growth of aggregators is driving and underpinning this trend, making it easier for people to find out about innovative offerings and to access and afford them.

Fitness festivals are part of it, enabling people to buy a specialist holiday break based around their fitness and wellbeing.

You need to have something special on offer to attract them and be nimble and responsive, but size doesn’t seem to matter.

In the last issue of HCM, we talked to the team behind Steel Warriors, the charity set up to turn knives, confiscated on the street by London’s police force, into callisthenics street gyms.

Although a small single site (so far), Steel Warriors is already reporting that it’s attracting fitness tourists.

At the other end of the scale, in this issue we talk to Ralph Scholz, the man charged with the job of bringing McFIT’s new 20,000sq m mega health and fitness development to life in Oberhausen, Germany (see our report on page 48).

Called The Mirai, the €50m development will be free to use, says Scholz, with revenues coming from a range of deals, such as the hire of conference space, permanent trade show areas and upselling of services such as personal training and nutrition advice.

But again, one anticipated source of revenue will be fitness tourists. Scholz says: “The aim is to establish The Mirai as a tourist attraction with a fitness orientation.”

He also says: “The Mirai isn’t primarily about money – perhaps we wouldn’t be doing it if it were. Yes, we have to balance the books. However, when you’re the leading player in Europe’s fitness market, as McFit is, you have to find new challenges to tackle!”

Last month I had a go at booking a class at a gym I’d heard great things about in a city I was visiting for one night – I had to fill in a form on their website and unfortunately, it took them two weeks to call me back, so a missed opportunity.

Are you ready to take advantage of this emerging trend?

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/338229_404261.jpg
'To attract fitness tourists you need to have something special to offer and be nimble and responsive. You don't have to be big – size doesn't matter' – says HCM editor Liz Terry
Liz Terry, editor,Fitness tourism, new trends, Global Wellness Institute
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The UK government has extended the ban on commercial evictions until 25 March 2022. Announcing ...
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Operating a further four weeks at reduced capacity will place serious pressure on English fitness ...
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People experiencing homelessness are being offered free access to leisure centres by Oxford City Council. ...
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IHRSA has appointed Elizabeth Clark as its new president and CEO. Clark joins the industry ...
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promotion
While much of the fitness industry has reopened its doors across the UK over the past weeks, many members are yet to return.
Opinion: Re-engaging your post-lockdown absent members
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Celebrating the return of group exercise – Les Mills to host free ‘Fastest Way Back’ livestream event for the industry
Last month (May) saw the welcomed return of group exercise classes. Group exercise is the heartbeat for so many clubs, with in-studio and instructor-led live experiences at the pinnacle.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Cryotherapy specialists, L&R Kältetechnik, launch new artofcryo.com division
L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110 °C electrical solutions.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
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Company profile: Orbit4
Orbit4 is the umbrella brand for FitnessCompared, FitnessFinance, WeServiceGymEquipment and WeBuyGymEquipment....
Company profiles
Company profile: fibodo Limited
fibodo is the digital solution helping people lead healthier and happier lives. From grassroots individual ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
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Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
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Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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