The future of wellness in hotels will require ever-increasing technical expertise and technology capabilities.

by Larry and Adam Mogelonsky – 8.24.2023

One of our grand principles for the hotel industry going forward is that the importance of wellness programming as a profit center will continue to grow, helping to differentiate any brand in any hotel category with a strong ‘reason to travel’ ‘ (and travel again). As said, nothing comes easily.

The most significant barriers we have experienced when building or expanding a hotel’s wellness footprint are skilled labor access and marketing awareness. First, the future of wellness will require ever-increasing technical expertise, reducing the labor pool or requiring more reskilling or certification. On the flip side, the healthcare experiences you set up are only as good as your ability to promote them and then sell them seamlessly.

Technology can be the savior for both; Guest-facing or staff-facing wellness programming is the wheel, while technology is the pivot that underpins it all and drives it cost-efficiently.

dispelling the welfare skeptics

Wellness is no longer limited to luxury resorts serving HWNI guests only. Anyone can play Hotel, but it’s just a matter of choosing your goals. Before you delve into which direction to steer the ship, a hotel brand first needs a wellness-oriented mindset, which requires a cultural shift.

To help put to rest any doubts about the potential here, let’s take a look at seven big-picture factors that explain why we’re entering the elbow of the curve for this space right now.

  1. In wake of pandemic lockdown, awareness rises wellness at home Has become a permanent trend. In other words, the pandemic threw us off the proverbial hamster wheel and there is no going back.
  2. shift towards remote work Reshaped priorities emphasizing the importance of work-life balance. This shift provides an opportunity for hotels to provide tailored solutions, such as more ergonomic workplaces, better access to sunlit areas for breaks, and more flexible spa options.
  3. rapid progress and mainstream acceptance of medical research on longevity And aging has led to a wave of skilled professionals, including physicians and dietitians, entering the wellness field. The more research we have on the matter, the more treatments and products will inevitably emerge and the more consumers will adopt them.
  4. aging baby boomer generation represents a key demographic for wellness services and medical tourism, taking advantage of this affluent group’s desire to live healthier and longer while continuing to experience the myriad beauty of the world.
  5. Young GenerationNamely, Gen Y and Z (and soon Alpha), are adopting healthier lifestyles by ditching habits like excessive drinking, smoking, refined sugar and fried foods, and they always want healthier options on the menu.
  6. Corporations are recognizing the importance of employee welfare and mental health. The corporate emphasis on wellness creates a ripe environment for hotels to position themselves as venues for business retreats and conferences, offering wellness-oriented amenities and programming to meet the growing need for companies to retain employees. lays emphasis on.
  7. growing synergy between supply and demand Pricing for wellness products and services has become more accessible in the wellness industry. This affordability factor acts as a self-reinforcing mechanism, increasing awareness and demand as more individuals engage with wellness offerings, thereby starting a virtuous cycle of growth within the market.

What can be welfare?

So, it is a matter of choosing your goals. Therein lies the next problem – buyer’s paralysis. The ambiguity of the term ‘wellness’ requires a hotel to choose from:

  • Health Conscious Foods, Herbal Teas and Anti-Aging Supplements
  • traditional spa treatments like massages, facials, or acupuncture
  • On-demand, in-room fitness or stretching programming
  • Sleep schedules in guest rooms with circadian lighting and smart bedding or pillows
  • equipment, such as those provided by alertMonitors for excessive noise, indoor smoking and other conditions that interfere with guests’ relaxation
  • yoga, meditation or breath-work classes and other forms of group mindfulness
  • Guided intermittent fasting regimen and water or juice detoxification
  • Contrast therapy with saunas, hot tubs, ice baths, cryotubes, or hyperbaric chambers
  • Forest bathing, self-guided hikes and all manner of exploring the great outdoors
  • light and sound therapy including near-infrared exposure or sensory deprivation tanks
  • cacao ceremony and using borderline-legal psychedelics like psilocybin or ayahuasca
  • physiotherapy and other one-on-one functional restoration sessions
  • educational experiences such as cooking or aromatherapy classes
  • Genome analysis with one-on-one nutrition and chronology advice
  • Onsite consultation for blood tests, epigenetic testing or microbiome analysis

There are many more that are not on this list. Narrowing down the field and creating a theme requires hours of collaborative work, and that’s where our consulting comes in – selecting the best options for near-term and long-term growth.

Four ways tech helps wellness

alert Creates a device for hotels to actively monitor excessive noise, indoor smoking and vaping, and other conditions that hinder the health and relaxation of guests.

For now, let’s leave the wheel aside and look at the axle. The first step is a cultural shift towards embracing the mission of making wellness part of the brand DNA, the next step may be aligning your core systems so that any wellness-oriented rollout does not burden your onsite teams and effectively can be marketed. For real revenue, not just name.

There are four key areas of technology that must be focused on to oil that axle.

Data-rich guest profiles

The key to shaping future services, features and programs lies in consolidating disparate guest data. When it comes to the root-canal-esque task of integrating PMS, CRS, CRM and BI systems, which often requires a customer data platform (CDP) or robotic processing automation (RPA) to help pipe, The data is then structured into an integrated system. ,

The main objective here is to gain a more accurate understanding of high-spending guest segments and emerging trends to guide wellness programming rollout and marketing to bring guests back. As a very simple example, by establishing a strong relationship between a restaurant’s POS and PMS, you can identify not only the proportion of hotel guests who dine at your restaurant, but also those Those who have opted for a healthy menu selection will let you know what to advertise. in a newspaper. Monitoring changes in this data can also inform menu expansion strategies and packaging innovations.

time-based inventory yield

A spa or gym or cabana is selling the place over time. But that ‘fragile list’ can be referred to as ‘dynamic availability’. Be it yoga sessions, guided meditations or personalized physiotherapy consultations, streamlining the schedules of practitioners where the demand is at its peak can be done by best-in-breed platform providers. Here, again, integrated systems are important to see where demand is occurring, but also to facilitate online bookings so receptionists are not overwhelmed with manual work.

Dynamic availability involves using intelligent tools to recommend optimal days and times for specific treatments or classes in order to optimize per-hour-per-location profit. The goal is two-pronged: strategically allocating high-value services during primetime slots, and then making informed decisions about when guests are most likely to engage with these offerings.

pre-arrival cross-selling

While fundamental factors such as location, rates, availability, delivery and promotional deals will continue to be important for driving bookings, many guests only book ancillary expenses in the hours, days or weeks before actually arriving. considering that guest appearancesHow can your visiting guests be accurately informed about available services when they are most inclined to make a purchase?

Deploying an upselling platform such as an automated guest communication tool capable of sending timely pre-arrival notifications via email and SMS or messaging apps can ensure that guests encounter your upselling offers through their preferred communication channels. Furthermore, experimentation within these platforms will provide insights to refine your approach, thereby yielding valuable data on the conversion journey. Which day before the arrival date (eg 3, 4 or 7) gets the highest clickthrough rate for cross-selling emails? Which communication channel, be it email or WhatsApp, shows the greatest success in driving conversions for additional service purchases?

change mapping

Before they leave, know that guests draw inspiration from their chosen hotels to make personal changes to their take-home habits after departure. This inherent desire for self-actualization provides an opportunity to introduce services and amenities that can either be sold or integrated seamlessly into the nightly rate, giving a strong reason to return to the property ADR growth in the long term is promoted or other hotels in the branded group.

For a tech-driven avatar, imagine in-room tailored exercise programs that sync with custom classes via an interactive TV. You might consider building a unique wellness hub with amenities such as an infrared sauna and ice plunge tank, which would involve substantial capital expenditures and staffing commitments to ensure safety. Alternatively, a more streamlined approach could include an integrated Breathwork module within your hotel app, synced with in-room IoT devices to keep guests engaged with their ongoing wellness goals.

Finally, to delve deeper into the growing mindfulness domain, a range of guided meditation apps are readily available, helping hotels create spaces for cognitive introspection, mental revitalization and ‘digital detoxing’. On the wilderness side, sensory deprivation tanks and sound therapy rooms, although more investment-intensive, are emerging as technologically advanced alternatives that are gaining popularity in the mainstream wellness sector.

Together, Adam and Larry Mogelonsky represent one of the world’s most published writing teams in the hospitality sector, with over a decade of content online. as a partner of Hotel Mogel Consulting LimitedA Toronto-based consulting practice, Larry focuses on asset management, sales and operations while Adam specializes in hotel technology and marketing. Their experience includes properties around the world, both branded and independent, and ranging from luxury and boutique to select-service. His work includes seven books: “In Vino Veritas: A Guide for Hoteliers and Restaurateurs to Sell More Wine” (2022), “More Hotel Mogel” (2020), “The Hotel Mogel” (2018), “The Lama is Inn” (2017), “Hotel Llama” (2015), “Lammas Rule” (2013) and “Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?” (2012). you can reach larry [email protected] or on Adam [email protected] To book speaking engagements or discuss the challenges of the hotel business.

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