Wellness Tourism is on the rise. The wellness tourism sector is a USD$639.4 billion industry, with an average annual growth rate of 6.5 percent. Wellness tourists are also said to be willing to spend 130% more than non-wellness focused tourists. With these statistics it’s not any wonder why wellness has become more than a buzzword in the hospitality and tourism industry.
WHAT IS WELLNESS TOURISM
Wellness tourism is often a sector synonymous with destinations offering yoga and spa retreats or detox packages – today, with the rising trend of travelers looking to escape the stresses of life and improve their well-being the sector is far more extensive. And, all guest-facing businesses in our destination have an opportunity to be a part of this wellness getaway.
Wellness isn’t a one-size-fits all concept. It can mean different things to different people. People might think wellness is just fitness, but we need to think holistically about what wellness means and what guests equate to wellness.
As a guideline, wellness could comprise of these four pillars: eating well, resting easy, keeping active, and accomplishing more. For example, a great sleep experience can be attributed to a more than comfortable mattress and mood lighting to help the guest get into sleep mode. Efficient customer service and minimal lines may contribute to the guest’s feeling of accomplishing more. Shorter lines equate to more time on the beach!
HOW TO INTEGRATE WELLNESS
Brand standards and budgets might dictate what hospitality businesses can offer in terms of wellness options. But for those seeking a few simple ways to integrate and capitalize on the trend, here are a few ways you may do so:
It all begins with a mindset and gaining support across all stakeholders. Taking the first step towards a well-being integration can be easier than you think. Recently, an international hotel chain introduced a “Moment of Mindfulness” at the beginning of meetings for the team, pointing to the fact that wellness shouldn’t just be focused on the guests. Encouraging employees to participate in endurance events such as Fun Runs, 5ks, Half, and full marathons is also a great way to encourage wellness but reimbursing them for their completion of the event is even better! Getting employees on board with wellness can lead to greater engagement and, thereby, better guest satisfaction.
Businesses should evaluate the entire guest journey from the arrival to the departure of the business, and you will be surprised by all the opportunities available to positively impact the well-being on the guests, from the environment, to the food offered, to how hotel guest rooms are designed – or even guest rituals. Offering a bowl of fresh fruit in the business’s lobby is a cost-effective way to start. Additionally, allowing guests access to water coolers can help to turn an eye toward wellness. Maybe offer a branded reusable water bottle for guests to fill up. When they leave the business, that water bottle acts as a marketing tool for the brand. Businesses can also consider adding live plants to public spaces to assist with oxygenation. Offer guests information about local outdoor activities –it is good to know your environment and area so that you can advise of nearby walking routes and vista destinations to promote. Thinking about local attractions and advertising your proximity to them can be a key marketing tool; if you promote another company, they might promote yours. Hosting educational or spiritual classes for wellness tourists is a great way to fulfil their expectation of opportunities for physical and mental self-improvement. Painting and craft classes are a perfect way to boost relaxation and promote culture and learning as well.
Businesses who offer food and beverage services should consider foregoing the traditional “set meals” and consider developing a creative and complete all-day offering for guests who are eating outside of traditional mealtimes -like when fasting. Focus on “Locavore” – or to look local. Not only does it strengthen the surrounding economy, but it also encourages guests to discover new items, which creates a stronger connection with the area and the business. Be flexible. Another effective way to be mindful of well-being is to simply get rid of stuff and organize your workspace.
Lighting is another quick way to ensure guests are staying well. Look at the public spaces within your businesses, add efficient quality lighting for a clean bright space – or ambient lighting when necessary.
To most, a smell isn’t just a fragrance – it’s a memory. Consider the scents of your work environment. Whether in an office – or if you drive a taxi, consider using fragrances that leave guests with a relaxing and lasting memory of coconuts, the sea, or a fresh mango. It’s truly the little things.
As guests look to improve themselves, they are inadvertently improving the tourism economy and profiting hotels and businesses. This trend is expected to continue, so by following simple advancements to help your business capitalize on the wellness movement –businesses can fully benefit and create their own professional wellness.
Brooke Meyer is the managing partner of Caymera International, a Grand Cayman-based hospitality and tourism consulting and advisory firm. She has an unwavering commitment to mastering the dynamics of the hospitality industry – and sharing that wisdom with her peers, clients, and stakeholders. Visit Caymera at www.caymeragroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org