Why Hotels Should be Involved in Global Wellness Day - Part II

By Camille Hoheb Managing Director, Wellness Tourism Worldwide | July 03, 2016

Global Wellness Day (GWD) is an international, noncommercial initiative aimed at improving well-being across the world. Today, there are 3,000 locations in 100 countries organizing GWD celebrations worldwide. This article is part 2 of a 2-part series. Part-1 featured Belgin Aksoy, Founder of GWD.

As a new Ambassador to Global Wellness Day, I was motivated to write a series about GWD for several reasons.

  • First - to create awareness and excitement about wellness as a lifestyle and as a business strategy.
  • Second - to promote wellness to the hotel industry.
  • Third - to share insights from hospitality professionals that have direct involvement with Global Wellness Day in order to encourage greater participation.
  • Fourth - to provide several first-hand accounts about GWD that could be helpful in spurring support from other sectors.

This article focuses on hotels that celebrate Global Wellness Day (there are 100+ hotels and spas participating this year). Below are interviews with four hospitality professionals. Their roles range from global hotel branding to regional hotel operations and a regional association to public relations of a single property. These interviews were conducted exclusively for HotelExcutive.com readers and include:

  • Jeremy McCarthy (JM), Group Director of Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
  • Mia Mackman, President (MM), Arizona Spa and Wellness Association and Global
    Wellness Day Ambassador
  • Simon Casson (SC), Regional Vice President and General Manager of Four Season
    Resort Dubai
  • Morgan Suzuki (MS), Director of Public Relations and Communications, Four Seasons
    Hotel Westlake Village

Camille Hoheb - What roles has Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Arizona Spa and Wellness Association,Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village taken with Global Wellness Day?

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.