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Groups are booking spas and resorts

Thousands of spas and resorts offer luxurious pampering at your request. Not only are individuals and couples visiting them, but groups find these special getaway spots are perfect for them, too.

“The No. 1 reason worldwide that both men and women go to a spa is to learn how to manage their stress,” explained Lynne McNees, president of the International Spa Association (ISPA), based in Lexington, Kentucky.

Groups go for a variety of other reasons, too, like fitness, pampering and pleasure, health and wellness, peace of mind or spirituality, cosmetic and medicinal. McNees said a 2010 ISPA industry study found that 52 percent of hotels and resorts in the United States offer mind, body and spirit programs.

Many groups choose all-inclusive sites offering the best overall package rate with activities of interest to that group. “Group travelers are also able to enjoy their time on the trip more because worrying about cost is stressful,” said McNees. “They have typically paid for the trip ahead of time.”

Bank Group Resort Visits
Anne Davis, president of Cruises and Tours Worldwide, caters primarily to the bank travel market. Group travelers typically are female, age 50-plus, number 15 to 75 and enjoy all-inclusive trips.

Her typical destinations include Riviera Maya, Mexico, accessed by the Cancun airport; Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic; and three resort destinations in Jamaica, with Ocho Rios being the preferred choice of groups.

“They travel together, usually on a chartered aircraft, and get to the resort by transfer from the airport. But once they arrive, everybody just does their own thing, very much like a cruise,” said Davis. “They enjoy sitting by the pool or on the beach with new friends they’ve made within the group. They dine alone or with a few other people, but they’re pretty autonomous.”
The group may re-form for sightseeing tours of either a half-day or a full day, and other activities.