Wellness will become a central factor for the hotel sector

 

Wellness tourism is the fastest growing segment of global tourism. Hotels and resorts are recording the strongest growth in this sector as a result of the rise in wellness tourism, outpacing day spas and salons, health resorts, medical facilities and thermal/mineral springs.

More hotel owners are now accommodating guests who are looking for enhanced services based on “asset-light/soft wellness” and/or “asset-heavy/hard wellness” needs.

Asset-light/soft wellness

Soft wellness includes health and relaxation experiences such as yoga classes and running groups; environmental considerations, such as air quality and natural light; and self-care offerings ranging from apps for mental health or relaxation to yoga maps with online tutorials. Adoptees of the soft wellness asset-light approach include the Even Hotels by IHG brand, which provides in-room fitness equipment and health food restaurants, and Locke by SACO, which makes free yoga classes available to guests.

Asset-heavy/hard wellness

The asset-heavy/hard wellness offerings include treatment rooms, beauty clinics, state-of-the-art gyms and cutting-edge spa facilities with amenities such as hydrotherapy pools, experience showers and hammams. Hotel brands that have embraced the asset-heavy option include Six Senses, Aman and Banyan Tree. 

10 year wellness forecast 

Looking ahead for the next ten years, the report suggests:

  • Wellness initiatives will become a core component of hotels and will be delivered across all departments. 
  • Hotels where the product and market support the development of a spa will miss an opportunity if they do not consider this as a part of their offering.
  • The spa and leisure areas will evolve into active areas for engagement and socialising as well as treatments.
  • Food and beverage provision will merge into these areas and provide for nutritional diets as well as indulgence.
  • Bedrooms will enable resting, as well as private exercise. 
  • The influence of spas will continue to be realised in bathrooms through lighting and product choices. 
  • The desire for real results through physiotherapy, low impact medical and beauty procedures will become more prevalent, probably with a number of medi-spa brands entering this space and partnering with spa companies or hotel brands. 
  • All departments will need to provide environmentally conscious products and reduce waste. 
  • Natural light will be prioritised in communal areas, including the spa.
  • Booking channels will move almost exclusively online and through new social media business platforms. 
  • There will be less consumer loyalty.
  • Preference for ‘on-the-go’ treatments will reduce direct bookings. 
  • Shared concepts and ideas will be digital, and it will be the choice of individuals to engage with highly personalised content and services. 
  • The result will be a more connected, but streamlined wellness offering.
  • Services and products will be tried and tested. 
  • Spaces will enable guests to choose social or quiet environments within which to work or relax.

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