Leisure & Play: The New Trend in Hospitality
The hospitality industry is always looking for new ways to attract and retain customers, especially in a competitive and changing market. One of the emerging trends is to offer more leisure and play options for guests, either as part of the core service or as an additional feature. Leisure and play can enhance the customer experience, increase loyalty, generate revenue, and create a distinctive brand identity.
What are leisure and play options?
Leisure and play options are activities that provide entertainment, fun, relaxation, or social interaction for guests. They can range from traditional games like bowling, darts, Jeu de Boules, shuffleboards, mini golf or karaoke, to modern technologies like smartphone apps, virtual reality, and interactive screens. Modern technology can also turn the traditional games into 2.0 variants or create a complete new game. They can also include creative and educational activities like workshops, quizzes, and puzzles.
Some examples of leisure and play options in hospitality are:
+ Family Entertainment Centers (FECs): These are venues that offer a variety of leisure and play options for families, such as bowling, minigolf, carting, lasergames, climbing, and indoor play. They often have multiple restaurants and food service choices, as well as retail and event spaces. A good example of this is, FEC Sevenum
+ Leisure-Food-Retail Concepts: These are concepts that combine leisure and play options with food and retail, creating a unique and immersive experience for guests. For example, STRIKR. adventure footgolf for Abel. Hospitality & Leisure – Poortugaal and coming soon café with indoor playground Club Abbey – Amsterdam.
+ Experience Economy: This is a term that describes the shift from selling products and services to selling memorable experiences. In the hospitality industry, this means creating environments and stories that stimulate the senses and capture the emotions and imagination of guests. For example, Meow Wolf and Doloris Meta Maze.
Why are leisure and play options important?
Leisure and play options are important for the hospitality industry for several reasons:
They enhance the customer experience: Leisure and play options can make guests feel more satisfied, happy, and relaxed, as well as provide opportunities for socializing, learning, and discovering. They can also create positive memories and associations with the brand, which can increase customer loyalty and word-of-mouth.
They increase revenue: Leisure and play options can generate additional income for the hospitality business, either by charging fees, selling merchandise, or up selling food and beverages. They can also attract more customers, especially during off-peak times, and encourage repeat visits and longer stays.
They create a distinctive brand identity: Leisure and play options can help the hospitality business stand out from the competition and create a unique and recognizable image. They can also reflect the values and personality of the brand, and appeal to specific target segments and niches.
How to implement leisure and play options?
Implementing leisure and play options in the hospitality industry requires careful planning and execution. Some of the factors to consider are:
The market demand: The hospitality business should research the needs, wishes, and expectations of its potential and existing customers, as well as the trends and developments in the leisure and play sector. It should also analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of its competitors, and identify its own competitive advantages and gaps.
The concept development: The hospitality business should design a leisure and play concept that fits with its philosophy, vision, mission, and goals, as well as its location, space, and budget. It should also consider the feasibility, profitability, and sustainability of the concept, and test it with prototypes and pilots.
The operational management: The hospitality business should ensure that the leisure and play concept is implemented smoothly and efficiently, and that it meets the quality and safety standards. It should also monitor and evaluate the performance and impact of the concept, and make adjustments and improvements as needed.
Leisure and play options are a new trend in the hospitality industry that can offer many benefits for both the business and the customers. They can enhance the customer experience, increase revenue, and create a distinctive brand identity. However, they also require careful planning and execution, and a constant adaptation to the changing market and customer preferences. Leisure and play options are not just a game, but a serious business strategy.