The best and brightest from the spa and wellness industry, together with thought leaders, medical experts, and creative minds from marketing and architecture, met in Marrakech this September to explore the future developments of the industry at the annual Global Spa and Wellness Summit.
Beginning with architecture, Danish architect Bjarke Ingels called for spa designs to use sustainable, unconventional approaches instead of relying on familiar design elements. Authenticity was the buzzword as Peter Greenberg, CBS travel editor, described Millennial consumers as desiring genuine, non-traditional travel experiences. Marketing of spa and wellness destinations should embrace social media used by this generation and refocus marketing efforts on them as well as on women who are growing in wealth and influence. As urbanization expands, city dwellers seek out health and beauty services to improve their well-being while spa and wellness can help connect people and lessen the sense of loneliness felt in urban spaces.
Preventative medicine is a growing area as people look to epigenetic testing to predict their susceptibility to chronic illnesses, then take measures to ensure these conditions are kept at bay. Wellness tourism continues to burgeon as companies and governments apply unique touches to wellness concepts to their programs such as Finnish tourism’s advocacy of silence.
In a largely unexplored wellness destination, Africa’s indigenous healing and beauty traditions are slowly gaining prominence as planned sustainable spa and wellness communities, with its mix of property developments, are an emerging commodity.
Technology, as ever, took centre stage with the launch of Apple Watch and other personal wellness devices such as a smart phone enabled breathalyzer. Retail and marketing guru, Paul Price, challenged delegates to let the technology their businesses adopt be driven by its marketing, not the other way round, despite the frequent advances in technology witnessed today.
SPA & WELLNESS EVOLVES IN LONDON
ILTM Spa 2014, held in London from 29 September to 1 October 2014, attracted spa and wellness experts from around the world. Two days of forums discussing trends and innovations in the industry and meetings yielded new buzzwords such as ‘evolution’ and ‘personalise’ for spa and wellness programmes.
Kick-starting the conference was the ‘Meaningful Media’ panel featuring leading spa and wellness media experts who recognised the increasing demand for spa and wellness as an integral part of luxury travel. The “What’s your Story” panel featured Frances Geoghegan, Managing Director of Healing Holidays, Dr Peter R Gartner, Medical Director of The Parkhotel Igls and Sheila McCann, General Manager of Chiva Som, underscoring the importance of listening to the consumer needs, from their spa experience and evolving programmes to meet these specific needs. Jason Russell of Magentity, in the segment “The Digital Doctor”, urged spa and wellness businesses to innovate their online presence to accomplish their objectives.
A dedicated gallery revealed nine leading spa trends as The Healthy Hotel; Fitness Fanatics; The Gene-Screen; The Male Spa Go-er; Mindful Living and Digital Diets; Water Works; Destination Spa; Family Spa Time and Souped-Up Facials. Rachel David, Director of Sales and Marketing, Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort remarked meeting “real specialists in the wellness market” helped in understanding client’s needs better and Seemaa P Makhija, Managing Director of Travel Voyages quipped the elite range of spas represented “a real choice” for their discerning clientele. The next ILTM Spa event will be in London from 1-4 December.
STAY WELL ON THE GO
The Stay Well® program introduces a new standard in hospitality, revolutionizing how a hotel room can be optimized to promote the physical and emotional well-being of its guests. Its aim includes helping guests reduce stress, achieve better sleep, increase energy levels, boosting immunity protection and improving respiratory health, amongst others.
The Stay Well® room includes amenities such as The Healthy Mattress to provide proper spinal support and reduce stress to pressure points. This helps guests achieve deep sleep for a longer period of time. Posture Support Flooring is used to help reduce joint pain and improve spinal alignment while hypoallergenic and green cleaning products are used to protect guests from viruses and bacteria. Programs by wellness experts such as Cleveland Clinic and Deepak Chopra are also incorporated. Guests can opt for healthy menu options created by Cleveland Clinic nutritionists or participate in a six-week meditation program to manage stress.
The MGM Grand in Las Vegas is among the first in dedicating an entire floor to the Stay Well® program. The rooms on this floor include an air purification system using HEPA technology, water filtration system for purified water, Wake-up Light therapy which aids guests in recovering from jet lag and even a shower infused with Vitamin C to rejuvenate the skin!
RYALLTERME E GRANDI ALBERGHI SIRMIONE
This spa resort is located on the stunning Lake Garda, northern Italy along with its thermal spa hotels, the five-star Grand Hotel Terme, the four-star Hotel Sirmione e Promessi Sposi and the three-star Hotel Fonte Boiola, as well as Thermal Wellness Centre Aquaria. It is renowned for providing superior products and services from Sirmione’s precious thermal water which flows at a temperature of 69ºC. This pure water is considered hyper-thermal and is categorized as sulphurous water containing minerals sodium chloride, bromine and iodine.
A popular treatment for nasal congestion in Italy, Sirmione’s thermal water utilises the benefits of sulphur absorbed through the mucous membranes to reduce symptoms related to the respiratory tract like sinusitis and bronchitis, and helps preventing hearing problems. The pain-relieving effects of heat also causes a release of endorphins resulting in relaxation. The company also has a beauty line, Aquaria Thermal Comestics, made with 100% thermal water which has exfoliating and balancing effects excellent for the skin.
Within the spectacular setting of Lake Garda, the wellness programs conducted by qualified professionals include Breathe Better and Detox to improve breathing and purify the body, Wellness and Luxury for a rejuvenating holiday to regain energy and treatments to prevent and cure hearing loss at Terme e Grandi Alberghi Sirmione. Treatment programs are complemented with shopping trips to Milan or sightseeing in Venice, providing guests a complete luxury experience.