The pandemic has fuelled a greater interest in the concept of self care and a recognition of the need to take personal responsibility for our own welfare. As a result, after all the hardship there is now some degree of optimism about the future of the new normal.
The development of technology to create devices to measure and track our health have made the concept of wellness a part of our daily consciousness. All of this should bode well for the spa, wellness, and tourism industry, but it will mean a change in approach from operators to respond to trends by creating a broader offering which will support overall wellbeing of employees, guests and the wider community.
The craving for human touch, restoration of health and fitness and the desire to reward or pamper oneself will most likely create a surge in demand for the typical spa services and continue a healthy demand once the surge has passed.
Added to this we are likely to see demand for wider wellbeing services teaching people how to live well, such as meditation, breathing and relaxation techniques; healthy eating; awareness of mental wellness and stress resilience; supporting family bonding; educational classes and activities which provide information on self-care; the evolution of services and diagnostics.
This provides a great opportunity for the role of the spa director to adapt. However, unless there is a corporate shift in brand values, with a resulting change in the management structure, it is unlikely the general hotel operator will recognise this much needed role. It is up to spa directors to take control and become the wellness director in everything but title.
While spa services are probably defined by the range of facilities on offer, the hotel often has many other facilities ideally suited to expanding the wellness package, creating additional revenue opportunities, improving the wellness of colleagues working at the hotel, increasing the publicity and marketing awareness of the hotel and promoting a positive workplace.
This will require a lot of time and commitment beyond the spa directors’ job description and pay scale, but the rewards are worth it. The workplace will become more positive. Once they become part of this movement, teams will likely become more motivated, which often results in greater guest satisfaction. Often healers find their best reward is through helping others.
By taking this step, spa directors are likely to become better equipped to develop their own careers in the expanding wellness industry, which looks likely to become one of the most significant industries in society over the next 10 years. It’s time to step up. l