The four finalists of the Global Personality/Influencing Industry category from the Hall of Wellness Awards 2020 joined together to define the key aspects and directions of Wellness During and Post-COVID-19 and what they believe the wellness and spa industry should consider in 2021.
The four represent a very wide range of the industry both in terms of geographical locations and industry focus:
- Lucy Brialey, The Sustainable Spa Association (UK)
- Marisa Dimitriadis, The Spa Consultants (South Africa)
- Andrew Jacka, Spa Origins (Thailand)
- László Puczkó, Health Tourism Worldwide (Hungary)
They are happy to share their wisdom with you that the 9 points which will be presented in a series of Wellness During and Post-COVID-19 articles which are expected to initiate discussion within the industry and help support its re-launch post COVID-19
# 1 – Wellness is not a Trend
Changes to operational practices as dictated by customer demands, commonsense or health authorities need to be considered carefully. While crisis management has a role to play, the consequences of quick knee-jerk-reactions can have a long-term impact. For the business to be sustainable, all aspects of these changes need to be considered. Professional operators already have a high level of hygiene protocols, so we don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just fine-tune it and ensure that these protocols are practiced across the entire industry.
Many operators in the industry have focussed on ‘foreign travelers’ only to see this segment drop to zero in most countries. Operators must tap into their local market and build a sustainable business model, not a get-rich-quick one. Admittedly local markets tend to spend much less than foreign tourists, but your local client is cheaper to market to and if happy, will return multiple times each year while a foreign visitor or tourist whether on a business sojourn or annual holiday is more expensive to market to and much less likely to be a frequent customer.
As Andrew Jacka states: „For marketing purposes consider an ‘added value’ offering that includes a unique local product or technique which is normally not utilized or practiced, rather than just discounting prices. These practices are a powerful marketing tool which can help define a genuine and clear unique selling proposition (USP).”
# 2 – Staff also need Quality of Life
Every wellness facility’s most important asset is its staff. Traditionally wellness services and spas are in the high touch business. Energy transference is what happens when a therapist touches the client whether during a massage or skin treatment or during a scalp massage at the washbasin. Every time we touch a client our energy transfers to them and so too does their energy transfer to us.
The therapists’ “angel hands” are in very much danger. The low or no touch expectation puts them into a very stressful and insecure position. There are a few words popping up over the last few weeks by therapists, some of them being: stressed, afraid, anxious, worried, to mention a few. The reality is we are dealing with a mentally fragile workforce. The staff’s quality of life is at least as important as the wellbeing of the guests.
It is our responsibility as owner or manager to be in control or manage our staff’s quality of life to ensure their morale and psyche is energized, positive, happy and nurturing. The pandemic highlights this responsibility and the industry needs to up its game to achieve it.
As Marisa Dimitiradis puts it: “Be fully in control of the energy that your therapists transfer to the guest as it ultimately affects their overall experience of their treatment “
Part 2 in this Wellness During and Post-COVID-19 series