Tips from the global wellness summit
We o en talk about wellness because hotels are spending billions on pu ng in a spa, which even if amazing, will not generate revenue and profit. The Spa, synonymous with wellness, unfortunately appears to be an essen al feature for every topclass hotel, so we come to the crucial ques on: is inves ng heavily in wellness profitable for a hotel brand? It is one of the dilemmas facing the delegates who recently spoke at the Global Wellness Summit which was held last October in Italy, fit ngly at the Technogym Village in Cesena. During the mee ng, the general managers of some of the most important hotel brands in the world met for a panel en tled “Shaping the future business of wellness and wellbeing in hospitality”. What ac ons do large hotel brands implement for the customer’s wellness? Most of the speakers admi ed that up un l now they have talked a lot about wellness, but done very li le in reality. Only the brands specialising in wellness and related services dedicate the appropriate amount of a en on to this topic. Unless a brand focuses on wellness in its offer (e.g. Canyon Ranch or Six Senses), investments in this area are s ll viewed as having a limited ROI. So how can hotels quan fy the financial return on wellness? When wellness is integrated in the product it is obviously somewhat difficult to measure
it. If hotels think that they are offering 300400 square metres of wellness area to their customers for free, then the figures rarely add up. However, if they also a ribute the added value generated on accommoda on and catering, then things can change. But even the design of these spaces must change and align with the wellness offer that a racts affluent and wealthy customers. It may seem a paradox, but currently the best tool to measure the economic value of the wellness component seems to be TripAdvisor which can hardly be considered a gold standard in terms of the economic and financial analysis of a hotel. Brian Povinelli, Global Brand leader of Marrio Interna onal, stated that if the return on well ness cannot be directly linked to the return on investment, the former itself cannot work. To measure ROW (Return On Wellness), hotel businesses should conduct a study on the wellness of their guests to understand the real percep on of services and wellness elements by guests. Customer sen ment could then be related to a RevPAR index (revenue per available room). Lindsey MaddenNadeau, Global Director of Spa Opera ons and Integra ons of the Accor group suggested periodically carrying out a survey among guests to find out their percep on of wellness in the hotel and assess the increase in loyalty and allegiance of the guests. However, according to the thirtyyear experience of Trade mark Italia, it is virtually impossible to establish specific ways of demonstra ng the financial value of wellness among the spas worldwide for interna onal chains. If someone were to succeed, it would be like discovering the Holy Grail, because, as stated by Jeremy McCarthy, Spa & Wellness director of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, « if something cannot be quan fied economically, it is difficult to sell it to an investor ». And here lies the dilemma that McCarthy has had the courage to say out loud and about which hotel companies will con nue to ask the same strategic ques on: “is the wellness offer at the hotel something that can be mone sed or something more intangible that aims to improve the lives of its guests?”.