Post Covid Mantra: Reconnecting mind, body and soul
BW HOTELIER maps out the current demand of the spa industry and what does the future hold for this promising sector
The new mantra, beauty is soul deep, has played a major role in uplifting the wellness sector not only in India but globally too, especially after the two waves of Covid-19. The pandemic has shifted everyone’s focus towards holistic wellness, one for the mind, body and soul. People have started opting for destinations closer to Nature and looking out for properties where they can rejuvenate and relax. Little wonder then that Global Wellness Institute report states that wellness tourism is slated to grow at an average annual rate of 7.5 per cent in 2022, higher than the projected 6.4 per cent for the annual growth of overall global tourism during the same period.
The spa market, one of the integral branches of wellness sector was perhaps the worst hit due to the pandemic and was among the last ones to reopen after stringent lockdowns and restrictions. Considered the domain of the rich and famous before the pandemic, health benefits associated with spa services like reducing body pain, relief from stress, calmness, health management and body relaxation among many others have helped it slowly foray into the lives of the common man.
“The pandemic has given an impetus to the wellness segment and pushed wellbeing into the forefront. People are increasingly becoming aware of looking out for their wellbeing as well as enhancing their immunity levels. In addition to physical fitness, mental and emotional wellbeing has suddenly taken centre-stage. Detox, healthy lifestyle, nutritious diet and home-cooked meals, yoga and meditation have become the buzzwords,” says Sushmita Sarangi, Commercial Director, JIVA | niu&nau, IHCL. Agrees Kush Kapoor, CEO, Roseate Hotels & Resorts. He believes the pandemic had an undeniable impact on the human body and mind in equal measure. “Spas are seen as wellness havens by urban dwellers stressed by the events of the pandemic,” Kapoor shares.
ADAPTING TO THE CURRENT DEMAND
Suhasini Pradeep, Marketing & Communication Manager – The Westin Mumbai Garden City, opines that some wellness trends have completely changed, paving way for new priorities.“The spa experience is no longer about pampering. The expectation from our guests sees a bend toward healing therapies for the mind, body and soul. Thankfully for us, ‘Westin’ has instilled a pillar of wellness since its inception. We have always catered to invigorating body treatments that replenish the mind, body and soul. We have also curated a series of spa retreat offers which have been a treat for companies working remotely,” she says. The Westin Mumbai Garden City has an expansive list of therapies ranging from restorative facials and reflexology therapies to immunity boosting treatments. The spa encompasses eight wellness-oriented and Nature-inspired treatment rooms for guests to enjoy the elaborate menu of body and beauty rituals.
Catering to the current demand, Hyatt has a holistic approach towards mental and physical wellbeing of its guests, which is focused on its three landmarks of wellbeing: Feel for one’s emotional and mental wellbeing, Fuel for powering one’s body and soul and Function for helping one perform in their life, work and play. “At Hyatt Centric MG Road Bangalore, we have adapted to the current scenario and follow self-care at a safe distance building unique and share worthy experiences. The spa offers a wide range of relaxing treatments as well as a steam room. It is the ideal place for guests to unwind and pamper themselves,” explains Sumender Kumar, Rooms Division Manager, Hyatt Centric MG Road Bangalore. In its signature therapy, Hyatt Centric MG Road Bangalore uses a variety of techniques including lymphatic drainage and soft tissue manipulation to relieve muscular aches, pains, deep-seated tension and stress. The range of spa therapies also include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy, Balinese massage, Indian head / back massage and foot reflexology.
Sarangi marks that people are travelling more to enhance or maintain their personal wellbeing, and that segment of tourism is growing twice as faster as global tourism worldwide. She also points out that the hotels and resorts are working to squeeze out moments of wellbeing for travellers with packed schedules. “Work-related stress and polluted cities have made travellers seek secluded wellness hotels. With the onset of the pandemic, people are mindful about viewing holidays as opportunities to rejuvenate, heal and come back stronger to their regular lives,” she says, adding that Jiva is home to India’s ancient science of inner wellbeing.
The Aheli Spa of Roseate Hotels & Resorts provides a place to retreat, unwind and find solace in a warm, calming environment. This experience is offered with a wide range of mindfully curated spa therapies and treatments. “We have diligently worked on all aspects including design, service and a bespoke menu of treatments. At The Roseate Ganges, along with our assortment of spa treatments, we offer yoga on the beach, meals prepared with fresh local ingredients and spiritual activities that together make for a relaxing retreat,” avers Kapoor.
The industry is optimistic about the future of spa segment. Sarangi indicates that with increased focus on wellness tourism, the future look promising. “The emergence of immersive wellness within hotels is growing rapidly. Travellers are seeking out hotels which are far away from chaotic cities and fast-paced lifestyles. People are looking for a sanctuary to find balance and to spend time with family and friends. No longer is wellness about a solo traveller visiting yoga retreats,” she says adding, “India being the hub of alternate therapies such as Ayurveda, homeopathy, and naturopathy will have a large role to play in defining wellness travel.”
The CEO of Roseate Hotels & Resorts puts in that wellness tourism in India was booming even before Covid-19 entered our lives. “The pandemic has given it a fillip. The trend is expected to grow with people taking three-to-four short wellness holidays a year. Our country has a great potential as it was developed through centuries of ancient civilisations’ cumulative wisdom. Today, India has emerged as the centre of Yoga, Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Siddha.” Acknowledging the same, Suhasini Pradeep asserts that tomorrow is the time of technology, innovation and artificial intelligence.
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