People, Places, Programmes

Feature for SPA BUSINESS HANDBOOK 2021-2022

By Mia A. Mackman

We are living in a time of great unknowns centered around people, purpose, and progress. Significant shifts on the world stage amid the pandemic continue to drive a widespread yearning for personal development, well-being, and transformation. These highlight a range of powerful impacts related to social and global change and reframes investment tactics to secure proposition growth and returns. Recent years have heightened investment scrutiny and accelerated increasing market diversity and development. Meanwhile, pandemic circumstances have indicated regional market value and simultaneously questioned global hospitality and travel futures.

Flexibility and Demand

Lifestyles are evolving quickly led by multiple new social, political, and professional changes. This has created a substantial and prevalent focus on being healthy, happy, and living with passion, energy, and a sense of personal well-being. The natural outcome of these changes generates a profound shift in thinking. As more people become increasingly self-aware, this impacts a number of things including personal values, consciousness, and life goals. This creates a powerful inflection point to examine the increasing demand for personal development, self-help philosophies, and transformational spa-and-wellness products and services.

Traditionally, Baby Boomers have been the main consumers of self-improvement. While they still are an important group, the tide has shifted. Millennials are the future of this market, but there are fewer resources catering to them. Prior to the pandemic, a reported 94% of millennials participate in the practice of self-improvement, 84% of Baby Boomers and 81% of Gen Xers were engaged in personal development.

Nuance and Variety

Since, the definition of wellness touches nearly everything in the realm of life and hospitality from food-and-beverage lineups, quality rooms, sleep, and meeting space to spa and fitness departments, value comes into play in multiple areas. Much like the self-help market has evolved to expand its industry and audience, the wellness-hospitality market is tasked to do the same. This reveals new opportunities to curate an enormous spectrum of personal well-being.

The core demographics of this market are seeking new, creative, multi-generational program creation. This also engages guests to explore personal value, through cross-department services while tailoring programs to suit different age groups, customer types, and life circumstances.

Defining the Framework

Enumerating the definition of hospitality-driven wellness raises three important questions. First, what is the perceived value of wellness and transformation for your specific guests? This is broadly different based on property type, location, and concept. Urban hotels have distinctly different guest profiles than resorts or destination hotels. Knowing the pillars of what wellness means for your property plays a critical part in customizing your strategy and goals.

Second, how innovative are the property, management team, and ownership when it comes to developing advanced services? If the property is based on long-standing, traditional principles, it may be challenging to add new, broad-minded services. In this case, it’s best to start with one or two unique offerings. These can be introduced as a special promotion and expanded on later based on interest and engagement.

Third, what are the risks associated with creating new programs? There are always a series of risks to manage when making any program alterations. Identifying these risks with careful planning, employee training and effective protocols for guest follow-up can help mitigate most of them. One of the biggest threats to the process of enacting new services stems from employees not understanding them. The staff should be well versed in all of its treatments and services, but especially ones that are new and unfamiliar.

Going Above and Beyond

Presenting meaningful experiences opens up new dialogues. While fitness and movement activities may appeal to some, fitness does not equal well-being for everyone. Athletically fit does not define healthy and well-balanced. Wellness is holistic. The routes to health and happiness, vary for everyone. Emotional and spiritual health are frequently unchartered waters in the hospitality sector. However, these types of services often facilitate significant breakthroughs and a montage of meaningful transformations.

Suggesting new products, books, meditation tools, and so on can offer supportive insight and encourage ongoing and future practices. Incorporating retail selections to support these types of services not only increases the average customer spend but also provides a selection beyond traditional spa retail. These items can include a small selection of books, journals, daily rituals, or positive affirmations. Items tailored to foster self-discovery are an uplifting buy and can help boost retail performance overall.

Choose Wisely

Choosing to make the investment to expand programs, spa services, or new hotel overlays becomes relative to the goals of the property. There are a number of factors to consider in doing this. What is the significance of the offering? Does it align with the property’s concept and theme? Are the management and staff committed to its success? Is it ideal to partner with outside companies or to hire and train to activate new services? All of these aspects can sway the performance and impact the stability and return on investment.

Selecting the right partners and discerning quality providers is essential for integrating new programs. It is also key to have premium employee training to help lay the foundation for any successful expansion. As guest preferences evolve with greater volume and speed, it is vital to work within a flexible yet firm, strategic plan to navigate the process.

Final Thoughts

Today’s spa-and-wellness investments are on a path of transformation. The wellness-hospitality sector inadvertently has the capacity to impart meaningful change by going beyond general wellness ideals. These integrations can inspire people through transformational experiences, generate substantial revenue and garner unique property attention. There is a priceless sentiment that goes hand-in-hand with any journey towards personal growth and well-being. As the world contends with ongoing change in a climate amid unknowns, investing in the people, places, and programs that empower and support people is light on the path.


To view, the digital copy of this article click here to the Spa Business Handbook 2021-2022


You may also like

Three simple ways to achieve personal wellbeing, Eat real food. Have real friends. Do good things."

~ M. Mackman