Increasingly, we are becoming involved in projects that sit at the intersection of luxury hospitality and wellness.
From Piers Schmidt’s involvement as an Advisory Board Member at Red Sea Global’s AMAALA project to start-ups seeking to fashion new value propositions, there is a growing realisation that true luxury is a life lived well.
Evidently, luxury hospitality professionals are optimistic about the future of wellness, but caution investors to differentiate between genuine opportunities and mere trends. With the rise of the wellness movement, especially post-pandemic, many businesses are vying for a piece of the lucrative pie. The Global Wellness Institute forecasts the global wellness economy to reach $7 trillion by 2025, with wellness tourism, including hot springs, projected to exceed $1.2 billion.
This emerging landscape is examined by travel and wellness journalist and consultant Laura Powell in her recent piece ‘What’s Next in Wellness Hospitality’ (published August 14, 2023) for Hospitality Investor, which Luxury Branding Founder, Piers Schmidt, is quoted.
Piers and Ingo Schweder, CEO of GOCO Hospitality, highlight the challenges of navigating the fragmented wellness sector. There’s a risk of “wellness washing”, where companies superficially adopt wellness branding without offering substantial benefits. There is still skepticism about whether the current wellness boom is a transient response to the pandemic or a lasting shift.
A significant trend is the increasing interest in social wellness, which prioritizes human connections. The National Institutes of Health suggests that socially active individuals generally have better health outcomes. Recognizing this, many hospitality brands are emphasizing social wellness in their offerings. Examples include Peoplehood, a group conversation venue, and the blending of resorts, residences, and local wellness clubs by brands like Six Senses and Aman.
However, the booming wellness sector also has its challenges. The Wellness Real Estate Report 2023 indicates that while revenue from wellness-related offerings is increasing, so are the operational costs. Major wellness hotels, despite their impressive revenue, face slower recovery and higher operational expenses than their counterparts.
In conclusion, while the wellness hospitality sector presents vast potential, a discerning approach, focusing on genuine wellness benefits and social connections, will be crucial for long-term success.