The Evolution of the Resort Wristband

Sitting at my desk in Suffolk with a blank Word Doc and an empty Excel spreadsheet where my blog schedule should be, I stare at my subject title once again.

The Evolution of the Resort Wristband.

I had this brainwave idea about five minutes ago and I’m still not sure where to start.

  • Have resorts always used wristbands as a way to control access to their facilities?
  • If not, what came before them?
  • If yes, how have they changed over the years?

Perhaps I should start there?


How did wristbands become the main access control product used in resorts?

Thinking back to childhood parties, adventure parks or taking part in kids’ clubs, most were accessed through hand stamps. The downside to a hand stamp was it wasn’t sustainable. Wearers could wipe off their mark after one trip to the restroom and if it wasn’t completely gone, the stamp would smudge. Information would blur as soon as sweat, water or friction from your clothes took hold. Not to mention, allergic reactions to the ink were a major setback.


Perhaps the mishaps of the stamp offered the opening for wristbands to take over?

Wrapping a strong paper wristband around the wrist would allow more freedom to move. The design would be clear and they’d be a vaster variety of colours to use for potential colour-coding methods.

The truth is, resorts are made up of several mini-compounds, each with their own need for access management. For example, the restaurant and refreshment staff would need to know which customer is dining full board and which are half. How would one know without an identification item? Perhaps it goes by accommodation reference, or name? Then again, this information would need to be stored on a system somewhere. A wristband with a clear colour code or text design would be far quicker and easier to reference.


Perhaps then, the evolution of resort wristbands works on the development of the resort?

The purpose behind why a visitor would need to wear a wristband could be why resort wristbands have changed over the years. As previously mentioned, different parts of the resort will need different information for different purposes. One can access an adventure park for the day on a Tyvek wristband, but they cannot go swimming in one. Swimming bands would require silicone, but then, these will not be secure to serve the purpose of controlling who comes in and out of the resort for wristbands can be swapped or taken off and lost.

An entry wristband would need to be sustainable over a long length of time as encounters with extreme sunlight, water and other fabrics will wear the wristband. Whereas mini-purposes such as a swimming band would only be worn for an hour slot (for example) and not throughout a visitor’s entire stay. Perhaps that is why resort wristbands have gone from handstamps to paper (tyvek) wristbands, to plastic (vinyl) wristbands, to fabric wristbands and finally to RFID wristbands? Our purpose for resort wristbands is constantly changing with the times, therefore the evolution of the resort wristband is constantly changing too.