Addressing the Wellness Needs of Business Travelers

By David Stoup Chairman, Trilogy Spa Holdings, LLC | July 20, 2014

We are in the Age of Wellness. The archaic cultures of waste and over-consumption, have given way to a healthier and more holistic mainstream ideology. Corporate social responsibility, sustainability, going-green, and locally grown are just a few phrases that define this era. Virtually every business sector has taken a stance on wellness including automotive, finance and energy. Finally tourism has joined this growing trend.

The growing popularity of wellness tourism can be directly attributed to the unhealthy nature of business travel. A study from Columbia University in 2011, found poor self-rated health, obesity, and other ailments are associated with extensive business travel are at the root of our compromised healthcare system. Spa destinations are increasingly recognizing the unhealthy trends of travel and administering certain wellness platforms, programs, and services in order to counter them. At Trilogy, we have made a distinct focus on bringing these wellness programs to the forefront of our offerings. This applies to virtually all of the spa brands we operate.

Well & Being is an integrated spa and wellness brand. Well & Being defines wellness as an active, ever evolving journey providing consumers with the tools to make personalized and insightful choices resulting in a happy/health-filled life. We do our working utilizing five pillars from which wellness can be achieved: Spa & Beauty, Fitness, Nutrition, Personal Improvement and Healing Therapies. While each pillar delivers wellness differently, collectively the pillars create a synergistic and comprehensive approach to create healthy lifestyles. Well & Being Spa's flagship location at the CAA/AAA Five Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona is a center for fitness, nutrition, and spa. The influence of wellness within the brand ultimately promotes guests to elevate their spa experience.

Well & Being Spa addresses the wellness needs of business travelers with a range of offerings including nutrition classes wellness, acupuncture, and even instructional videos on "hotel-room workouts" embedded in social media channels. For instance, "#WellnessWednesday" promotes a healthier lifestyle through Twitter and Facebook, allowing travelers to connect, tag, and share their online versions of personal wellness. Tips on nutrition, exercise functionality, and other health benefits engage social media users, creating a network of wellness and a constant dialogue promoting wellness online. The popularity of this social media campaign further demonstrates the growing community of wellness activists and a larger group of potential wellness seekers.

Similarly, the Guerlain Spa in the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria in New York caters to business travelers by offering specific treatments to relieve the body of travel stress. A leader in the beauty industry, Guerlain's cutting-edge skincare products are paired with impeccable spa services. Microdermabrasion, Micro-Current Lift, and special toning and smoothing treatments are part of an array of unorthodox yet transforming spa offers for those seeking a refresh of wellness during periods of business travel. While wellness is typically associated with health, nutrition, and exercise, these skincare treatments provide "topical" wellness with undeniable results.

Defining wellness is difficult, as there is no universally accepted definition. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines "health" as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. While this definition of "health" has not been amended since its 1946's introduction, today "health" and "wellness" are essentially synonymous to the general public. Dr. Travis, who created the Wellness Resource Center in 1975 outlines wellness in two paradigms, reactive and proactive, the latter occurring when individuals responsibly improve health and prevent illness by integrating healthy lifestyle choices into their daily decisions.

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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.