As the hospitality industry grapples with market instability and changes worldwide, this viewpoint aims to identify helpful views from a panel of industry experts, to discuss leading action-items for near-term and long-range strategic planning. As the world is currently in the throes of COVID-19; there are an array of uncertainties impacting travel, engagement and finance.

This presents an important opportunity for us to examine, suggest and develop new strategies that foster stronger wellness propositions and public health priorities that support diverse hospitality models. This viewpoint also aims to share thoughts on how companies, stakeholders and developers can make calculated investments and complex decisions in the midst of the current crisis and beyond.

Please provide your view of high-priority initiatives related to the immediate impact on mental health, returning engagement, and guest experiences, underpinning action-planning for value and growth. Please suggest at least one creative, OUTSIDE-THE BOX idea... that reveals the importance of interconnected, multifaceted, wellbeing and health experiences.

Robert Vance
Robert Vance
Chief Wellness Officer at The WellSpring Group

We currently have the benefit of time; how we use it to prognosticate and plan for the copious scenarios we may face in the months and years ahead will ultimately determine the path forward for our industry.  A few suggested initiatives that we should consider as high-priority in our post-crisis planning should be:

  • A Wellness-lead Reopen.  Prioritize the safe, strategic and likely staggered reopen of your spa, fitness and wellness programs as a first priority in hotel and resort environments.  When restrictions are minimized many of your guests will have been in at least partial isolation for months and there will be a deep desire for self-care. They will need our support in addressing the absence of touch, the absence of silence and the time to process the mental and physical toll these crises have inflicted.
  • Keep it close to home.  With restrictions on domestic and interstate travel likely to continue you have the opportunity to serve your community and drive-market's needs while reigniting your business.  Consider providing more pricing flexibility to make the decision to spend on their self-care palatable during this time of vulnerability. 
  • Don't abandon generosity.  Continue to show generosity and compassion for your staff, your guests and the community even as we move into the post-crisis phase.  Explore how you can bring back and utilize staff for community recovery efforts.

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