The ROI of wellness

The ROI of wellness


Soraya Jouzy’s passion for clean beauty and appreciation for nature stems from her mother, a keen botanist, and her early exposure to natural remedies. Her appreciation for wellbeing was further fueled by the long hours she spent working at the Gordon Ramsay group and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, where she put into practice her knowledge of essential oils to help reduce stress, improve sleep and boost energy. Determined to share her passion with the Middle East, Jouzy resigned from her job and founded Pearl Tree distribution. She is now recognized as a regional champion for clean beauty, sustainability and holistic wellbeing. 

What is the ROI of wellness for the hotel industry?
As we exit the Covid-19 pandemic, the world as we knew it has totally changed, from how we dress and how we interact with others to our values and life expectations. Wellness has, of course, been a “trend” that has witnessed remarkable growth over the last five years. However, now more than ever, there is not just a want but a need for it.
From 2015 to 2017, there was a 10 percent increase in wellness trips, and in 2018, 89 percent of trips were regarded as wellness. While the wellness economy was predicted to grow by 7.5 percent from 2017 to 2022, there was a drastic drop during 2020 and 2021 due to international travel restrictions. Yet now, as the world finds its feet again, the importance of wellness has been underlined, so those in the hospitality sector need to leverage it in all areas.

 Why is wellness more than a trend?
For years, properties around the world have been slowly incorporating wellness practices by putting on activities such as yoga. But small steps just don’t cut it anymore. If you don’t have the capacity in-house then you need to outsource, as there are plenty of wonderful wellness practitioners and experts out there who understand the industry inside out.
People have suffered because of the pandemic, both physically and mentally, so a wellness retreat is a need rather than a desire. Implementing wellness can lead to better brand positioning and increased revenue. The Global Wellness Institute estimates that international wellness travelers spend over 53 percent more than the average international tourist.
The cost of staying in a luxury hotel is high, and hiring the right type of people to conduct anything to do with wellness is also high. However, the benefits of incorporating wellness outweigh the costs, as people are willing to spend above the average room rate and more likely to pay for healthier, organic and tailored wellness menus.
When it comes to room rates, there is no off-season with wellness, as retreats can be busy even in the cold winter months. This is especially true for properties with large domestic audiences. 

Why do people seek wellness?
People are incorporating wellness into their everyday lives. We are more conscious of what we do, how we act, how we treat our minds and what we put in and on our bodies. Mental health is a topic we are more willing to discuss; stress, depression, loneliness and feelings of entrapment have become talked-about issues.
The pandemic has also thrown the work-life balance into question. The option of working from home has shifted the paradigm toward living a healthier, balanced life in all areas. This shift has many seeking freedom in all aspects, so when booking a wellness trip, people want experiential travel that is wellness-centric, something exceptional that’s above and beyond the green juice or meditation they can do alone.

How are establishments incorporating wellness?
Establishments are creating experiences that go beyond the usual massage or staycation. They are incorporating air purifiers, specific fragrances to ignite fond memories, curated menus, ambient lighting, pillow menus and an array of amenities. It’s argued that many of these factors should be incorporated into any stay, but incorporating them into a wellness escape only heightens the experience for guests.
Key points to consider are specialized diet plans, as we’re living in a time during which many people are aware of their allergies and intolerances, wearable tech that can help monitor sleep, activity, and just how “well” guests feel throughout their stay. Of course, the usual spa treatments are necessary, but treatments that are centered on maintaining and improving overall health are on the rise, often by implementing holistic practices, traditional Chinese medicine, aromatherapy and technology such as cryotherapy.
The main takeaway is that wellness can be incorporated in almost any way; the more creative, the better, as constant innovation is required to keep ahead of the curve.

What message do you have for hotel owners who are yet to invest in wellness?
The facts and figures show that owners must take wellness seriously; it is not to be treated as an amenity but as the foundation of a successful establishment. There needs to be a 360-degree approach from the top down. The hospitality industry needs to be mindful of incorporating this essential element and provide services at different price points.
In the wake of the pandemic, wellness has become an essential pillar within hospitality, and it will be interesting to see how the Middle East’s hospitality sector takes this on board.

soraya Jouzy
Soraya Jouzy
Beauty&wellness expert
Pearl Tree
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