As spa development and wellness momentum continue to thrive, understanding the nuances associated with advancing this new growth is acute to evolving meaningful and successful investment choices. This viewpoint asks panel experts to share why these programs are worthy of investment and how they add value to hospitality experiences. Various challenges related to COVID-19 have accelerated prevalent needs for new operational, and technological changes. Whereas the ripples of 2020 are expected to reverberate for a few years. This viewpoint also shares thoughts on how companies, stakeholders, and developers can enhance existing businesses and make tactical investments for 2021 and beyond.

Laszlo Puczko
Laszlo Puczko
CEO & Co-Founder of Heath Tourism Worldwide

The COVID-19 pandemic made wider audiences recognize the importance of health, wellbeing, and harmony. Either physical, social, or emotional. I would like to challenge the hospitality sector on this note. Does not the word 'hospitality' indicate the importance of guests' safety and comfort by definition? If this was the case, suggesting that hospitality would need to pay more attention to wellness or wellbeing does not just admit that the hospitality industry could have done more already?

I strongly believe that wellnessification of hospitality services may not automatically result in higher rates and returns. It is more likely that wellnessified services all across the board can become entry-level expectations. Guests do not seem to find such developments as an add-on, more like the new minimum. This can mean a challenge to any style and category of hospitality provider. The well-wired services, amenities, and solutions can make hospitality providers more competitive when the world emerges after several months of lock-down. As the findings of the pilot research by Wellness Tourism Association and Health Tourism Worldwide suggest travelers look for wellness-inspired and oriented solutions, destinations, and brands. They are more aware and open to learn and try more.

New development should avoid looking at wellness as a satellite or as a department only. This may lead to the underestimation of TRevPAR, overdeveloping, and overspending on space resulting in an underperforming GOP and suboptimal guests' wellbeing.

The healthcare-hospitality-wellness conversion appears to be paving the way of actually reaching hospitality revolution 4.0.

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