by Media Member Susan Kime
Accor S.A., is a French multinational hospitality company that owns, manages, and franchises hotels, resorts and vacation properties. It is the single largest hospitality company in Europe, and the sixth largest worldwide.
Accor owns and operates brands that cover every segment of hospitality: luxury to premium, to midscale to economy. The company, headquartered in, France, recently published a White Paper that defines the wellness paradigm shift, moving from add-on to necessity, and why it is so important for the hospitality industry to take note of this dramatic shift.
Just a few years ago, the hospitality industry saw wellness as an amenity, not a needful standard, Now, luxury travelers look for purposeful, new, travel experiences that further define their well-being, health, and emotional fulfillment. To Accor, the age we live in now could well be called The Wellness Age.
A few years ago, wellness was considered a slapdash antidote to the growing problems encountered in daily life — but now, the concept of wellness has evolved into much more than a hurried fix. It is becoming a staple for the wellness industry that includes the high-end hospitality world.
Francois Dung, SVP for Consumer and Market Insights for Accor, explains that wellness is “No longer a trend, no longer an option. No longer a commitment just at home, or in waking hours; wellness is the standard our guests have come to expect.”
Behind the mind-body discussions, wellness is simply the state of being in good health, and an actively sought lifestyle goal, both at home and now, while traveling.
Accor has partnered with various research firms to produce new quantitative statistics, validating the conclusions for hospitality wellness becoming a necessity rather than an option.
Accor recognizes four economic and social factors allowing for such a substantive paradigm shift:
- UNHEALTHY MODERN LIVING
Including Internet’s hyper-connection, pollution, congestion, industrialized food, microplastics pollution, sedentary office work, all combine to define many benchmarks of ill health today.
IN 2018, according to the Gallup 2019 Global Emotions Report, defined in the Negative Experience Index, 30% of people worldwide reported feeling unhappy in terms of pain, worry and stress for much of their previous day. That is almost one in three.
- HEALTHCARE FOR AGEING POPULATIONS
The rising healthcare costs for an ageing population is driving an increased focus on prevention, through lifestyle changes. Such changes promote wellbeing into old age. The World Health Organization’s summary on Public Spending in Health: A Closer Look at Global Trends 2018, states that spending in growing faster than the host economy in most countries and, worldwide overall as well.
- CONNECTED HEALTH
Technology gives us the tools to track our body health, putting data at our fingertips. According to Foresight Factory, a data science and research mining group, found that 57% of consumers globally say they are interested in devices to track their health and send information directly to their doctors.
4. ‘I EXPERIENCE, THEREFORE I AM’
The shift from owning possessions to living experiences goes hand in hand with the new age of wellness. Its focus is on finding new ways to feel well, thus by its nature and nurture, meets the traveler’s desire for greater personalization of unique wellness experiences while traveling.
According again to the Foresight Factory, 72% of consumers feel the need for new experiences in their lives.
These stats define the relevance of how wellness is affecting the hospitality industry. Accor is meeting environmental challenges through creating standard, not add-on, wellness options in hotels and residences. Here are a few examples:
FAIRMONT QUASAR ISTANBUL, is home to the first Willow Stream Spa in Turkey and in collaboration with Mindfulness Academy welcomes guests with a new corporate wellbeing program, to gain a conscious awareness approach to life and help handle daily anxieties with ease. The half day Mindful Moments program is designed to improve work- life balance and improve efficiency for business travelers.
THE RETREAT PALM DUBAI MGALLERY HOTEL COLLECTION
Home to the world’s first Riya Wellness Centre, the programs are customized to a guest’s particular health interest and length of stay. They include: Revive with the Emotional Wellness Retreat; Rebuild with the Weight Management Retreat; and Reshape with the Fitness Retreat.
The Raffles peaceful environments use Feng Shui and Biophilia techniques. The Raffles Chefs created food to enhance sleep, countering the ill effects of jet lag, and promote intestinal health. Sleep rituals are learned also.
As can be noted above, Accor believes that the concept of wellness is a way to reach travelers in the daily lives. Hospitality wellness has moved from a want to a need. As Accor concludes in this substantive White Paper, it’s time to take wellness as seriously as our guests do.