Wellness, holistic well-being, rejuvenation is being talked about more than ever. The hospitality industry in India had also seen a renewed interest in recent times. But, has the demand stayed intact after the Post-Covid phase?
The COVID-19 pandemic is sweeping through the world putting countries, societies, communities and businesses under tremendous disorder with the precautionary measures of ‘Social Distancing’ – a term that tears apart the very existence of the wellness and hospitality business as the core of it is personalization, interaction, social connection and wellbeing. The industry where touch and physical contact is the basis of the experience is going through an aggressive shift in the way how things are looked at in the new normal.
A ray of hope for the industry is that this situation is driving them towards a healthier and wellness-oriented lifestyle. After this long trauma, people would have more incentive to indulge in feel-good experiences that are rejuvenating or detoxifying in nature. Consumers have also become more aware and have started opting for quality over quantity due to the restriction on disposable income in 2020.
We see a visible trend developing of customers wanting to combine lifestyle management and wellness with their weekend getaways and vacations. Therefore, in order to stabilize, the spa and wellness industry that relies predominantly on human contact will need to reinvent itself by a high degree.
As learning and observation of the past recession, wellness is an unusually resilient concept and market. Mental wellness becomes a pressing issue that needs to be addressed and catered to. This experience of the lockdown has shifted the needs of the consumers and thrown a sharp light on how healthcare is failing us on this issue which has promoted an ‘aware segment’ in the society to resort to holistic wellness and a sustained lifestyle accelerated by mainstreaming of the wellness industry.
With all these factors on one side of the spectrum, international or even long-distance travel seems unlikely in the recent future which would lead to a domestic travel boom upscaling the wellness retreats and destinations closer to the metros. The spa and wellness industry will emerge out of this situation unscathed as people’s need for integrated wellness and holistic living has only multiplied over the years.
The Wellness Economy which is currently estimated at around US$ 4.5 trillion is expected to boom post-COVID-19. Comprising of various components such as wellness tourism, wellness real estate, workplace wellness, spas, etc., that together form an ecosystem, wellness will enable us to lead a healthy lifestyle ensuring wellbeing for our mind and body.
As this consciousness of the need for wellness and healthy living becomes integrated into our daily lives, this sector will have to expand and work on its current offerings of products and services to accommodate growing demand in times to come.
This pandemic has served as a reminder to mankind that taking care of their wellbeing is imperative. The wellness industry would therefore continue to thrive by connecting the passionate practitioners with committed guests. It is the medium of interaction between them that may evolve and become technologically driven.
Mr Srikant Peri, General Manager at Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa brings with him over 30 years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry. He was appointed GM of the property in October 2018 and has been responsible for the strengthening partner relations, strategic planning, day to day operations and business development ever since. Peri has also lead the company’s strategy to further advancement and continue the growth in both commercial and enterprise while focusing on core verticals such as holistic wellness and more.
Starting in the F&B Department, during his 32 years in hospitality, Peri has provided technical and generic leadership across multiple global luxe hotel chains. He was last associated with Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, Maldives, as the Area General Manager where he demonstrated leadership and efficient management in overall operations. He has also been with leading hospitality brands and served a long tenure with properties such as Taj Hotels, Leela Palace Hotels & Resorts, and The Oberoi Group.