Incorporating Nature Into the Spa and Wellness Experience

By Maggy Dunphy Spa Director, Stowe Mountain Lodge | July 26, 2015

Spending time in nature is the best remedy to improve your quality and outlook on life. It also provides the
simplest, most cost effective and innovative opportunities to have a positive impact on our overall well-being.

Global Wellness Tourism is a $3.4 trillion business as reported by the 2013 Global Wellness Report.

Dr. Deepak Chopra noted in a recent speech that, "Wellness is the number one trend in the world today." And
Ophelia Yeung, senior consultant, Center for Science, Technology & Economic Development, SRI, and one of
the report's lead researchers, argued that she only sees more growth ahead: "Prevention-challenged traditional
healthcare systems, and an obesity and chronic disease crisis, are simply costing people and governments too
much. So, it's a very good bet that the double-digit annual growth rates across these wellness sectors we've
tracked these last few years should continue, as more people proactively change the way they eat, exercise,
travel, work and live – and more governments are inevitably forced to shift more money to the prevention side of the medical equation."

This alone tells us that people are seeking opportunities to de-stress, eat well, sleep better and experience a better state of being. It is our obligation to provide this to the ever growing population of people looking to improve their lifestyles so they can experience and enjoy a more sustainable and happy life. The traditional spa offering of massages, facials, body treatments and manicures are just a small part of the wellness puzzle. Global Wellness Industry is telling us that consumers are seeking more than just opportunities to pamper themselves and look good. They are seeking the overall approach to living a better and more fulfilling life.

Wellness embodies all areas of our lives and is so much bigger than just physical well-being. There are actually seven dimensions of wellness that impact how we live day in and day out in the daily routine of our lives. These seven areas of wellness include social wellness, emotional wellness, spiritual wellness, environmental wellness, occupational wellness, intellectual wellness and physical wellness.

Each of these areas act together and synergistically in many ways that contributes to the quality of life we choose to live. To get a better understanding of the various areas of wellness I compiled information from several sources in order to define and better understand the wellness puzzle.

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.