Creating Authentic Internal and External Wellness Cultures

By Mia A. Mackman President & Owner, Mackman ES | November 19, 2017

Wellness has wide-ranging context and scope. As we continue to see new mergers and acquisitions, property openings and program developments focused on wellness-leisure, health and lifestyle assets, it’s critical to consider the genuine spirit of these new wellness-driven components. Whereas, in the recent past these features may have been viewed as industry trends, there is no question the appetite for global well-being continues to grow with increasing investments and consumer demand.

According to The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics 2017 Report “Travel & Tourism’s contribution to world GDP grew for the sixth consecutive year in 2015, rising to a total of 9.8% of world GDP (US$7.2 trillion). The sector now supports 284 million people in employment – that’s 1 in 11 jobs on the planet.” (1) Wellness is showing up everywhere. Be it travel and tourism, restaurant chains, grocery stores, entertainment venues, and more. This further points to the importance of designing wellness cultures that deliver value from the inside-out, centered on straightforward principles that match a brand philosophy with honesty and transparency.

“What may masquerade as wellbeing services or wellbeing product positioning is, often, false promotion used to capture market share in valuable spend segments. There are many examples of operators and companies cashing in on the momentum of a booming wellbeing industry that lack authenticity in their service provisions or scientific evidence in the claims of their product. That said, some of them have built highly profitable companies at the expense of less educated consumers, whom are becoming savvier by the day. Watch out for industry bubbles that are likely to pop!” says Anni Hood, Managing Partner of WELL Intelligence (WI) [link: https://wellintelligence.com/ ] (2) WI is a new bi-monthly publication providing insight and fast track analysis on the juncture between hospitality and wellbeing industries through a macro and micro analysis lens.

To elude the burgeoning swell of false program value in the quest for marketability, companies must understand the essence and depth of their internal-wellness culture. As evidenced in the impetus of the “green and sustainability movements”, the complexities of action and non-action, led many companies down a path of sensationalism, while lacking the depth necessary to initiate significant internal progress.

The roll out of large-scale mock-wellness programs and imitation wellness models comes with considerable risks. Not only are there substantial financial asset risks but deceiving a highly informed, globally connected consumer market presents significant challenges and can jeopardize or undermine success. Whereas, wellness, health and mindfulness are strongly linked to personal values and unique, individual vulnerabilities, it’s conceivable programs that don’t deliver could instigate a profound breakdown in customer trust, preferences and brand loyalty.

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Hotel Group Meetings: The Need for Speed

2017 was a banner year in the Hotel Group Meetings marketplace and that trend is expected to continue throughout 2018. Planners are experiencing a renewed sense of confidence due to a reinvigorated economy and increased job creation, which typically provides a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are maintaining a fast and furious pace, and they are utilizing an array of technologies to speed things up. For example, planner requests and proposals are expected to be turned around quickly; the mantra seems to be “as soon as possible, or sooner!” To that end, the use of electronic Request for Proposals (eRFPs) to source hotels and venues has increased in recent years, bringing many timely benefits to the Meetings industry. As a result, in order for hotels to attract and book meetings, they have to be willing to operate with a sense of urgency, which is the new baseline for success. Once on property, the need for speed doesn't diminish. Poken is a cloud-based event management platform, which enables attendees to easily and quickly connect, network and share contact info. ClickShare is a wireless presentation system that permits others in the meeting room to share their laptop with the presenter screen at the push of a button. Skype is useful in order to engage with remote participants in real time, and dedicated apps are being routinely used to drive registration and communication before, during and after a meeting. Finally, text messaging is replacing emailing and phone calls simply because it's quicker. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.