“I’m sure 95% of hotels work to the best of their abilities to provide the best possible service within this context. And, for me, that’s the secret, [And] it will bring more guest loyalty because you create a lot of empathy, you’re sharing common concerns with your guests.”

Antonio Pereira da Rosa

One thing to be said about the hospitality industry is how resilient it is to crises. There is always room to bounce back much stronger and to adapt to the times. This is something that the wellness industry could learn from during this pandemic. If we wish to integrate the two industries, then wellness must become just as adaptable as hospitality – efficient in its operation with bigger profit margins. 

In my next interview, I talk to Antonio Pereira, who has extensive experience in adapting wellness into hospitality. For the last six years, Antonio has worked with luxury brands and has experience in sales and team management as well as business development. Antonio has also worked on a longevity wellness resort that was ahead of its time in terms of integrating wellness into the entire offering. 

Interview Highlights:

1. Survive, Adapt, Grow

It is difficult to predict what the future holds with any certainty. However, such precarious times always filter out the strong from the weak. For most hoteliers, the short-term goal is to just make it through the year. Survival is the top priority, and so whatever little business can be gained within the shrinking market should be handled with caution. The essence of survival lies in adaptability, which is the mid-term strategy for the industry. A lot of disruption has occurred already within the hospitality industry, and more will follow as markets open up again. Finally, when survival has been successfully achieved through adaptation, the race to grow and reach new heights will begin. The most dynamic brands are the ones that will come out on top.

2. Adapting the spa concept

The costs of running a spa are sizeable, especially now in the wake of the pandemic. As the price wars between hotels continue, spa operations almost become a liability in that prices cannot be reduced too much without essentially compromising the whole premise of running such a facility. Hence, the spa model cannot continue to work as-is. The concept must be adapted to hospitality in order to work. Spa treatments, while they are nice to have as an offer, are rarely a priority to guests. In such situations, hotel operators have to find ways to make them commercially interesting in order to get sales. Hoteliers can look into the positioning of their spas and continue to appeal to their local markets.

3. A psychosocial approach to wellness

The constant outcry about having spas in hotels is the high overheads they come with, in relation to the tiny percentage they contribute to the bottom line. Wellness, however, is more than just the spa. When integrated well, as in the case of a longevity wellness resort for example, it can become the driving force for hospitality. Going forward, wellness in hospitality should not be thought of as just plugging in a spa facility in the hotel and calling it a day but must take the shape of a holistic and personal experience for the guest. At every turn, hoteliers must make sure their offering caters to the physical and psychological needs of the guests because that is what people need right now.

The past interviews have highlighted extensively the need for the hospitality industry to adapt to the emerging wellness industry and use it to enhance their service offering. However, as shown by this interview, the wellness industry cannot realistically expect to conduct business as usual going forward. The consolidation of both industries lies in how well they adapt to each other. Time will tell how far we can go in this regard, and once again, the most innovative will emerge on top.

My sincere gratitude goes out to Antonio for taking his time to answer my questions as extensively as he did and sharing his insights with me and my audience. 

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