Lately, we have written extensively about the evolution of the spa industry and the current challenges and opportunities we have ahead of us. In particular, our posts have introduced the present synergy that is taking place between the spa industry and the medical field. From cancer-related treatments to pain management, we have explored different evidence regarding this synergy.
We recently came across an interesting article written by John R. Hendrie that was published in ehotelier.com, a top hospitality industry site and a relevant source of information regarding the hospitality industry. The article offers a compelling rationale behind the benefits that hospitals can gain from a partnership with the spa industry.
While seeing this article on an online hospitality newsletter is quite interesting, especially from the business side, we found even more relevant the timing of this post, which was published just days after the Health Matters Conference in the US. Considering the current situation of the health crisis in the US, and how professionals and experts from different fields – wellness, schools, medical, etc. – are joining forces to promote better health amongst the American population. Susie Ellis, president of Spa Finder, wrote a detailed post on the event and added some interesting points worth discussion. The focus of this article is the broad consensus that exists today regarding the benefits behind prevention, and we believe a partnership between hospitals and spas offers an attractive opportunity for our sector.
The Current Scenario
One of the realities surrounding hospitals today is that these institutions are in a tough market place where they usually have to scramble for revenue. In order to deal with this scenario, hospitals are opting for cutting down costs or implementing a series of measures including improvements on their customer service, food and general facilities. However, very often hospitals tend to overlook additional opportunities for growth such as those offered by the spa industry.
One of the fields that has taken advantage of the evolution of the spa industry is the hotel industry. According to John R. Hendrie, spas “have successfully partnered with or been created by hotels and resorts, providing new revenue streams and marketing advantages for those Lodging operations”. Because of the similarities that exist in the delivery of services to guests and patients, Hendrie sees an obvious next step defined by the partnership between hospitals and spas.
While he supports his rationale with different factors such as the pampering spas can offer to people in hospitals and the economic revenue that spas and wellness centres can bring to the operations of these institutions, we believe the defining element of a successful partnership between hospitals and spas relies on the fact of consolidating prevention as the leading principle to apply in the health field.
The Health Matters Conference
As we previously mentioned, we found interesting the timing of Hendrie’s post with the Health Matters Conference, an event led by former President Bill Clinton. One of the attendees of this event was Susie Ellis, President of SpaFinder, who recently shared her own insights about this event.
According to Susie Ellis, there were two big conclusions that came out of the Health Matters Conference. First, all participants agreed on the current health crisis in the US. Second, prevention was at the bottom line of the solution. Along those lines, Susie Ellis added that “the time to help people make lasting healthy lifestyle changes and spread the message of prevention (the one thing everyone seems to agree on as a solution) is NOW”.
Focus on Prevention
Something that was clear from the Health Matters Conference is that prevention is no longer considered a trendy concept but rather an ideal framework to deal with the current health crisis that not only affects the US but different health systems around the globe. Considering that a big chunk of the services provided by spas and wellness centres are based on preventive treatments and therapies, the spa industry has the potential to build a solid alliance with hospitals willing to embrace a preventive model towards health.
Although the opportunity is there right now, spas need to work harder if they want to size it. They need to spread the benefits of their preventive treatments in a better way. In fact, during the Health Matters Conference Susie Ellis noticed that “no one on the stage mentioned the word spa the entire day”.
If the spa industry is able to present itself as an important partner in the development of prevention-related solutions, it can take advantage of a business opportunity that could easily define the future of our sector. The health crisis environment around the spa industry is evolving dramatically. One thing that is evident: the movement is taking place and our sector needs to adapt and evolve accordingly. A partnership with hospitals may be the next big thing for the spa industry.