Surf’s Up! W Hotels Offers Guests Free Boardbag Travel

NEW YORK—Beginning today, W Hotels is offering surfers everywhere the chance to catch a break and avoid boardbag travel fees with the launch of “Now Boarding.”

Adventure seekers who book a room at select surfside W destinations will have the cost of flying their board with them reimbursed via a $150 amenity credit to apply to that post-surf cocktail or massage. Tapping into the travel itineraries of the more than 23 million surfers worldwide, the program will kick off at the newly opened W Costa Rica—Reserva Conchal, where guests can book the package. W will launch the program with four more oceanfront destinations throughout 2019: W Bali – Seminyak, W Barcelona, W Punta de Mita and W Goa.

“Surf culture around the world is historically open-minded, playful and bold—just like us,” said Anthony Ingham, global brand leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “As we continue to open in more destinations known for their waves and surf circuits, it has become clear just how important it is to surfers—of all levels—to travel with their most prized companion, their boards. ‘Now Boarding’ is in line with our mission to inspire guests to pursue their passions and we want to make those adventures a little easier by taking board baggage fees out of the equation.”

The “Now Boarding” initiative was born from in-depth research on the surf industry in line with agency collaborator, Pen & Public. The commissioned research project confirmed key facts that have encouraged the brand to engage with surfers across the globe at world-class W destinations.

The Facts

  • The annual industry revenue for surfing is estimated to be a whopping $7.29 billion
  • The surf community’s expenditures on surf trips come in at about $1.9-3.1 billion per year.
  • A study from the University of Oxford reports that promoting areas with high-quality surf can drive economic growth for each region by up to 2.2% per year
  • The 2020 Olympics will feature surfing as an official sport for the first time, putting the sport in the global spotlight.
  • 79% of surfers own at least three boards, while 55% buy a new board at least once per year.
  • 67% of surfers hit the waves more than once a week.
  • 64% of surfers are ages 18-44, a key demographic of Gen X and millennials that make up a steadily growing force in the travel market.

About the “Now Boarding” Destinations

W selected five top surf spots to launch “Now Boarding”:

  • W Costa Rica (opened Nov. 2018) – This luxury playground is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, one of only five “Blue Zones” (regions known for longevity and quality of life) in the world. The stunning beachfront paradise brings bold design and 150 expansive rooms and suites to the white sand beaches of Reserva Conchal, a 2,300-acre nature reserve. Surf the nearby hot spot, Tamarindo, which is located 30 minutes away.
  • W Bali – Seminyak – Nestled on the coast of the Indian Ocean, W Bali – Seminyak shows off innovative design in 229 rooms and villas. Seminyak Beach is known as a place to catch a break and hang in nearby day clubs.
  • W Barcelona – This hotel is an icon of the Barcelona skyline. Its distinctive sail shape has become a well-known beacon for luxe fun. The hotel’s 473 guestrooms and suites got a makeover in a 2017 head-to-toe renovation, sporting sea-inspired design and panoramic views of the Mediterranean. Barceloneta is a popular surf spot in the city and is walkable from the front doors of W Barcelona.
  • W Punta de Mita – Surf culture is a definitive part of this region and this hotel’s design. Check in to any of the 119 vibrant rooms and suites and keep your eyes peeled—headboards are often made from local surfboards. There are plenty of breaks in nearby Sayulita and Punta Mita, including several reserved for experienced surfers and shortboards only. This area is known for year-round breaks, often caught at mid to low tide.
  • W Goa – With over 4,300 miles of coastline, India might be the best kept secret of all surf destinations. Located on Vagator Beach, this W Escape overlooks the Arabian Sea with 109 stylish guestrooms and suites which include private villas. May and June bring the biggest surf with waves ranging from five to over 10 ft. at Vagator.