Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Embracing the Wellness Revolution - Samantha Foster at ITB

As part of the Wellness Experts Forum at ITB, Samantha Foster, from Destination Spa Management, Ltd., gave a fascinating talk on how to deliver wellness through the spa business. The issues she addressed included defining exactly what the term “wellness” means, whether it is needed for a business, and how to implement it.

She pointed out that there are many different aspects to wellness – intellectual, spiritual, environmental, emotional, social and physical. That it is far more than just “mind, body and spirit”, and therefore there is a lot of confusion not only among consumers (who have often been trained to understand wellness as just pampering), but among those in the industry as well.

Changes and trends such as our increasingly high stress lifestyles, aging and growing populations, improved technology and access to information, and unsustainable medical systems are all driving the wellness industry. Ms. Foster emphasized the huge toxic burden in our bodies, and explained that while we cannot live in a bubble and avoid these threats altogether, through wellness we can work to mitigate the damage and prevent it from getting worse.

In the next part of her talk, Ms. Foster discussed how businesses can implement wellness. She stressed that the owner’s objective and view is one of the most important factors in implementation. If that commitment is lacking, the success will not follow. There needs to be a firm spa concept, consistent with a wellness philosophy. The services the business wants to offer need to be affordable, available, sustainable, and of course legal. The resources must be there, and they have to be implemented properly.

Finally the extent of wellness offered can vary and depends on the businesses concept and positioning, the specialist expertise required, the guest profile of course their budget! Wellness on offer can range from a day spa, especially offered in hotels with a day market, to a destination spa in which absolutely everything is planned around wellness, and can offer consumers a comprehensive approach to lifestyle improvement and health enhancement.