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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Coming up in December 2018...

Hotel Law: New Administration - New Policies

In a business as large as a hotel and in a field as broad as the law, there are innumerable legal issues which affect every area of a hotel's operation. For a hotel, the primary legal focus includes their restaurant, bar, meeting, convention and spa areas of their business, as well as employee relations. Hotels are also expected to protect their guests from criminal harm and to ensure the confidentiality of their personal identity information. These are a few of the daily legal matters hotels are concerned with, but on a national scale, there are also a number of pressing issues that the industry at large must address. For example, with a new presidential administration, there could be new policies on minimum wage and overtime rules, and a revised standard for determining joint employer status. There could also be legal issues surrounding new immigration policies like the H-2B guest-worker program (used by some hotels and resorts for seasonal staffing), as well as the uncertain legal status of some employees who fall under the DACA program. There are also major legal implications surrounding the online gaming industry. With the growing popularity of internet gambling and daily fantasy sports betting, more traditional resort casinos are also seeking the legal right to offer online gambling. Finally, the legal status of home-sharing companies like Airbnb continues to make news. Local jurisdictions are still trying to determine how to regulate the short-term apartment rental market, and the outcome will have consequences for the hotel industry. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.