04 Dec 2021 Spa Business Handbook

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Spa Business Handbook - Industry Predictions

Industry insights

Industry Predictions

In the midst of a year that’s shown us that we need to prepare for anything, we turned to the best and brightest in the spa and wellness industry to ask what they think lies ahead.

Day retreats can incorporate immune-boosting activities Courtesy Peninsula Hot Springs

Anna Bjurstam
Wellness pioneer, Six Senses

COVID-19 has affected all of us in a variety of ways. We have seen businesses in our industry crumble and people’s lives shattered with loss of both work and freedom. Yet there is no challenge that does not present an opportunity. We have an opportunity to take a fresh look at our business. Continue reading...

Charles Davidson
Chairman and founder, Peninsula Hot Springs

Sharing the perspective of hot springs operators around the globe, here are some of the ways this industry sector is re-creating, re-imagining and re-inventing our businesses to operate during these times. The goal is to move from surviving to reviving, and then into thriving. The key, in the immediate social-distancing-mandated world, is finding ways to generate greater return from fewer visitors by delivering more value. Continue reading...

Tony DeLeede
Founder and owner, Gwinganna Lifestyle Resort

COVID-19 has forced spas to rethink how they can deliver experiential services differently and hopefully stay connected to their customers in between their spa visits. Continue reading...

Susie Ellis
Chair and CEO, Global Wellness Summit and Global Wellness Institute

While COVID-19 has hurt so many spa businesses, there is one extraordinary silver lining: By exposing the terrible cost of not controlling chronic, “underlying” conditions, it has radically strengthened the case for preventative wellness, and will make wellness the Number 1 consumer priority for years to come. Continue reading...

Mary Bemis
Editorial director, insidersguidetospas.com

The good news: The pandemic has brought us closer together as an industry — colleagues, once competitors, are sharing best practices and putting their collective minds together to re-win consumer trust. That means coming back to what’s real: The comfort and wisdom and proven immune support of what I call the ‘Timeless Truths of Spa’ — water, touch, beauty. Continue reading...

Andrew Barnard
Deputy managing director, BodyHoliday

The long-term effects of the pandemic will be felt long after the virus is under control, and people will seek a humanising experience that will help them to reconnect and be social. There will come a time where we will be able to meet new people and reignite old friendships, and this will be crucial for our wellbeing in the future. Continue reading...

Lynne McNees
President, ISPA

The spirit of collaboration demonstrated throughout these extraordinary times has been a silver lining amidst the uncertainty facing our beloved industry, and we can’t let that disappear going forward. Continue reading...

Mark Hennebry
Chair, Ensana

For some years now, I have flagged the impending explosion in demand for medical health spas – the type of spas that go beyond pampering and leisure treatments to address underlying health issues. Like all good forecasting, you know it is coming, you just don’t know when. Continue reading...

Trent Munday
Senior vice president – international for Mandara Spa

I believe that the spa of tomorrow may be only 20 per cent of what the spa of today is. That 20 per cent will be the familiar services like massage, manicure, facial, etc., but the other 80 per cent may be different from one spa to the next, depending on the specific market and clientele each spa targets. Continue reading...

Yvonne Cheung
Co-founder, Yu Sum Tong

Mainland China was the first to discover COVID-19, but today, the rest of the world may not be able to imagine how “normal” it is in China. Most hotels re-opened in time for the May 1, 2020 Labour Day holiday, and China has seen a strong demand for domestic travel since then. Continue reading...

Suzanne Holbrook
Senior corporate director, spa division, Marriott International

The pandemic has devastated the hospitality and hotel spa industry, along with so many others – but it’s always in a spa leader’s DNA to find a silver lining. As we look to the future, there are a few things that I see driving the industry forward: Continue reading...

Marc Cohen
Founder, Extreme Wellness Institute

The spa industry is based on the principle of ‘salus per aquam’, and it is widely recognised that clean water is the simplest, cheapest and most effective health intervention on earth. Yet while water has the ability to bestow health and vitality, it can also transmit disease by transmitting toxicity and pathogens. Continue reading...

Kathryn Moore
Founder & managing director, Spa Connectors and Hall of Wellness Awards

With so many redundancies over the past few months – from therapists through to senior management – it does mean that eventually, employers will have the pick of the litter. However, with many economies suffering from recession right now, the question is: will these talented employees accept less to get a job? Continue reading...

Joanna Roche
Executive director, Green Spa Network

The current global health threat of COVID-19 has changed the way most of us see and experience wellness; things we once took for granted have been rearranged, and our lives look very different than they did a year ago. The spa and hospitality industry are facing issues that will redefine the way we look at wellness, sustainability, and immunity. Continue reading...

Professor Gerry Bodeker
Chair, GWI Mental Wellness Initiative

As the world looks to life after COVID-19, mental wellness is a front-burner priority, and will be the challenge of our generation. More than half of those admitted to hospital in Italy in 2020 with COVID-19 had a psychiatric disorder a month later, with 28 per cent showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 31 per cent depression, and 42 per cent anxiety. Insomnia and obsessive-compulsive symptoms were common. Continue reading...

Mia Kyricos
President & CEO, Kyricos & Associates

COVID-19 has clearly forced the world and our industry to stop and reconsider all that we’ve taken for granted both personally and professionally; from business performance to family and community health to how we educate our children and staff. The greatest opportunity wellness leaders have today is to reevaluate HOW they work, not just WHAT they do. Continue reading...

Jeremy McCarthy
Group director of spa & wellness, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

What hasn’t changed? Every article that I read wants to define “the new normal,” emphasising how the world will never be the same. I think a more interesting question is, “what hasn’t changed?” This is not to diminish the impact of the pandemic – certainly living through this experience will change us all in deep and meaningful ways. Continue reading...

Andrew Gibson
Chair, Wellness Tourism Association

Two respected surveys on the future demand for wellness experiences, post-COVID, have recently been completed. These global surveys were conducted by the Wellness Tourism Association and the Global Wellness Institute. The main discovery from both surveys was that people all around the world want to connect more closely with nature, want a sense of adventure and want some form of safe socialisation. Continue reading...

Alejandro Bataller
Vice president, SHA Wellness Clinic

I strongly believe that the wellness sector is resilient and will bounce back. In the long term, it may even be reinforced, accentuating the current generation’s tendency to invest in transformational experiences. People are now more aware than ever of the importance of their health, recognising that health is our main capital. Continue reading...

Sue Harmsworth
Founder, ESPA

Health, wellbeing and mental health have become even more important, and as an industry, we need to rise to the challenge of fully supporting our clients, guests and teams with a level of expertise never needed before. The time for lots of hot air and words is gone, and now we really have to action and deliver the expertise, knowledge and skill that communities and individuals need. Continue reading...

Niamh O’Connell
Group vice president – wellness and brand experience, Rosewood

Historically, our industry has been a one-to-one, in-person, immersive experiential journey; now we have had to adapt this experience, without diminishing the journey, to reflect our new non-traditional setting. What we have learned from our individual experiences during lockdown is our innate need and desire to connect to others and with ourselves in a meaningful manner. Continue reading...

Anna-Cari Gund
Managing director, Raison d’Etre

The future is safe, sustainable – yet seductive. These are the three new pillars of wellness for spa development post COVID-19, as identified by the Raison d’Etre Think Tank. Feeling safe and secure is the new luxury, and spa operators will need to demonstrate this through their design, services and marketing. Continue reading...

Noel Asmar
Founder Noel Asmar Group

Spas will need to integrate e-commerce to round out their business models, and they have the unique positioning to enhance their guest experience with product subscriptions as they look to create new revenue streams. New business models will emerge; for example, spa memberships, which could include a skincare subscription and monthly or bi-monthly facials that follow up with tweaks to their skincare subscriptions. Continue reading...

Tom Bauer
COO, Vamed Vitality World

The global happenings over the past year will have a long-lasting effect on our planet – and on us human beings. Especially in our industry, which I like to call the “happiness business”, growth by volume, which was already on the edge before COVID-19, is not the answer for the future. Continue reading...

Irene Forte
Wellness director, Rocco Forte Hotels

Health and wellness have become more important than ever before and people are desperate to bolster their immune systems and look after themselves. In addition, many in the wellness industry have quickly managed to pivot. A number of businesses that didn’t have a digital or virtual offering have adopted one. Continue reading...

Nils Behrens
CMO, Lanserhof Group

The global pandemic has shown everyone the importance of a good immune system and long-term preventative healthcare. Spas that focus on innovative holistic health and medicine are perfectly set up to guide and advise people during this time. Continue reading...

Lasse Eriksen
Development manager, Farris Bad

In the midst of COVID-19, the spa industry was one of the first businesses to close down and one of the last to re-open. Why is that and how can we prepare for the future? First, bathhouses have a history of being both incubators and cures of disease, and second, we are in dire need of an acknowledgement of wellness science within most national healthcare systems. Continue reading...

Lindsay Madden-Nadeau
Founder, Meraki Bespoke Wellness Strategies

In many hotels, spa managers have the opportunity to support the building of a successful wellness programme for their customers, and this couldn’t be a better time to make that move. From in-room wellness, sleep programmes, and different ways to unwind within the guest room, to fitness, movement and nutrition programmes to get guests in motion or out exploring the natural surroundings, wellness is an opportunity which is now a guest expectation. Continue reading...

Franz Linser
Founder, Linser Hospitality

As the world starts to return to normal, travel will not look quite the same as it once did; the way we travel – and where we travel – will change, but there is opportunity in this. In the wake of a global pandemic that disproportionately affected those with underlying medical conditions – many of which are preventable – a focus on health has never felt more important. Continue reading...

Anne Biging
Co-founder, Healing Hotels of the World

People are searching for hope and they’re looking to receive healing in times when they cannot or don’t want to travel. They’re looking for peace of mind, a deep connection with their inner selves, and a feeling of inner strength and balance – especially at a time of outer chaos. Continue reading...

Simone Gibertoni
Chief executive officer, Clinique La Prairie

I envisage there will be an increased desire for a holistic and long-term approach to health and immunity, beyond a single programme or medi-spa visit. As a result, I expect products such as functional supplements, long-term immune-boosting solutions, epigenetics assessments and health apps to rise in offer and in popularity. Key to this is the role technologies are to play in the future of global healthcare, developing products and services to support this demand. Continue reading...

Originally published in Spa Business Handbook 2021 edition

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