It’s time for a wellness checkup
 
It’s time for a wellness checkup
24 MAY 2018 7:19 AM

This year, the Hotel News Now team took an industry cue and committed to wellness. Let’s see how we’re progressing so far.

In December, you may remember that I threw down the gauntlet and declared 2018 the year of wellness for the Hotel News Now crew.

Sure, it definitely was a way for us to get more focused on health and wellness practices—we are lifelong journalists after all, who eat every stale cookie that isn’t nailed down. But it also was a way for us to get more in tune with a growing international hotel industry trend that’s showing no sign of slowing down.

For a small office of around 15 people, I think we’re doing pretty well. Robert hikes our office neighborhood rain or shine every day at lunch. Dan’s training for a half marathon. We practice a lot on our Tibetan water bowl, we have a CPR class scheduled and we even sometimes consider not ordering donuts from Uber Eats (see my above comment about our occupational hazards as journalists).

For as much as we joke with each other about wellness, I’ve noticed the habits taking root. We all regularly take the stairs up and down from our fourth-floor office, and it’s not always because the office elevator is out of order. I think slowly but surely, we’re incorporating wellness steps into our everyday habits. It’s nice to see.

As my own travel schedule steps up, it’s a great reminder to me that if I’m trying to incorporate more wellness into my daily life—even when I’m on the road—other people are, too. And that’s why I pay special attention now when I see all the moves—big and small—hotels of all sizes and segments are doing to encourage physical and mental wellness while people travel.

Back in December when I made my big declaration about the year of wellness, I asked for help from readers, to give us some advice on how to figure out this wellness thing. I received fantastic tips and guidance from hoteliers around the world doing these things at their properties.

You know what though? All that advice was by and large from hoteliers based at luxury resorts and hotels that cater to a well-to-do traveler who can afford to make $500 wellness-oriented spa treatments part of their vacation.

I don’t see a lot of wellness happening at the affordable level, to be honest.

I’m beginning to think wellness may end up following the same trend trajectory as sustainability, in that it’s definitely viable, guests want it, it’s a good thing to do … but it’s a different story altogether when it comes to shifting behavioral mindsets to spur travelers to pay for the trend.

I see some uncertainty around the trend—like in this recent column from Leisure Assets’ Roger Allen, which discusses whether or not this trend can pay off for hotels.

On the other hand, this column from consultant Jennifer Findlay talks about some tangible ways hotels can take wellness trends from the spa to the guestroom.

We even have this column, from consultant Adam Glickman, on incorporating wellness and technology.

So the ideas are there. However, like sustainability, I think we need to see a little more evidence that the ideas can pay off and resonate with guests before they grow in a more widespread way.

Wellness isn’t going away though, and that’s why it’s exciting to be on the forefront of a trend that could go in so many different directions, and be interpreted in the hotel and travel space so widely.

So keep those tips coming for me and the rest of the Hotel News Now staff. Just remember that we’re a little more midscale and a little less luxury when it comes to wellness.

We’re always open to ideas. Comment below, email me at sricca@hotelnewsnow.com or find me on Twitter @HNN_Steph

The opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Bloggers published on this site are given the freedom to express views that may be controversial, but our goal is to provoke thought and constructive discussion within our reader community. Please feel free to comment or contact an editor with any questions or concerns.

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