216 | Wellness Travel: Get your business in shape for an emerging trend


Wellness … However you define it, we all want it.

The hospitality industry is one of the business sectors where consumers of wellness seek it.

The Global Wellness Institute reports wellness tourism is a $640 billion industry. In North America alone, travelers made 204 million trips and spent $242 billion on wellness in 2017.

In today’s episode, Lodging Leaders explores the business of wellness in hospitality. We talk to Kristen Intress, a hospitality industry leader and founder of Fit Farm in Tennessee. We hear from Adam Glickman who helped InterContinental Hotels Group launch its wellness brand, EVEN Hotels, and now heads his own wellness-consulting venture called Parallax Hospitality. Also featured is Emlyn Brown, vice president of well-being for Accor Hotels, and Andrew Gibson, chairman of the Wellness Tourism Association.

If you think wellness is a high-falutin’, hoity-toity amenity only the rich can afford to seek out and enjoy, think again. Wellness is an emerging sector in hospitality, growing at 6.5 percent a year. The growth is spread across hotels of all price segments and guest demographics.

Wellness-minded travelers seek a path that not only introduces them to healthy concepts and choices, but allows them to return home feeling better than when they left.

If your hotel can live up to that promise, you can build a healthy bottom line.

Resources and Links

  • 311 | Shelters From the Norm: Hotels used for hospitals and housing face unexpected problems

    A year ago, Darshan Patel, CEO of Hotel Investment Group in San Diego, California, was one of the first hoteliers in the U.S. to step up and offer properties to overwhelmed hospitals seeking places to care for COVID and non-COVID patients as well as vulnerable populations. As the crisis eases and Hotel Investment Group works to return the hotels to business, Patel is negotiating with local governments to pay for the wear and tear on the properties. Patel is not alone as many hoteliers are unexpectedly dealing with problems that state and local governments’ urgent decisions have created, including property damage, increased costs and eviction bans. This report is the second in a two-part series examining the pros and cons of opening hotels to alternative uses during the pandemic. It is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

  • 310 | Hotels Convert to Housing: Federal COVID-19-relief funds fuel transactions

    Dhruv Patel, president of Ridgemont Hospitality, in October shared a bittersweet moment with his parents, Pravin and Sima Patel, when the family business sold the first motel that Pravin had built from the ground up more than 30 years ago. But they rest assured knowing it was the right decision because the 22-room property is being converted into affordable housing for military veterans at risk of homelessness. The transaction is among hundreds taking place across the U.S. as state and local governments work with non-profit agencies to create affordable housing solutions for vulnerable populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In Episode 310 Long Live Lodging reports on the financial and legal aspects of what it takes to convert a hotel into long-term housing. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

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