Spa & Hospitality Collaboration Takeaways

The Global Wellness Collaborations bring industry leaders together in meaningful dialogue to share ideas and best practices for navigating the COVID-19 crisis around a specific industry segment.

Topic: Spa & Hospitality
Date of Discussion:  March 18, 2020
Countries/Regions Represented: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, India, Mauritius, Malaysia, Mexico, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK, US

  • With countries in lockdown in Europe, cash flow is a terrible issue; keeping staff, making tough decisions; planning for a time when business returns
  • Hong Kong is better prepared because it’s been through other pandemics and public health crises, not to mention the recent protests and political unrest; as a result, some spas in Hong Kong remain open because of a strong local following
  • While 100% of Hong Kong residents wear masks, the ex-pats don’t and that puts everyone at risk; it’s important to reduce fixed costs, keep as many people on as possible; everyone has to work together—landlords, government, management and staff, in order to survive; business is down significantly
  • Russia has not yet felt the impact of Coronavirus, but has taken precautions, given its proximity to European nations; preparing for a steep drop in business; the benefit (if you can call it that) of seeing what’s happening elsewhere, gives Russia the opportunity to prepare
  • Australia has been taking this very seriously; India is being very proactive and taking steps to contain the ultimate spread of the virus; government is going to restrict the movement of most people, but given the numbers of low-income earners, restricting transportation is going to be hard to enforce; people are mindful of needing to help support those who will feel the impact even more
  • In France, production and online sales are still allowed; factories are working, but slower than usual; the essential life of the economy of the industry is going on; online sales—retail online sales for spas are going on. And this is the case not only in Europe and in France but all over Europe and this can help a lot, Last but not least, the French government has issued some statements to help all the businesses in France to survive so that means that we have no longer to pay our taxes. We have no longer to pay for electricity, water, etc. They put 300 billion Euros to secure loans; it’s important to ask the government to help business in general
  • While most traditional spa business is way down, some consulting contracts are surprisingly robust
  • With teams working remotely, communication is key; supporting people so that those who feel panic, can find support
  • Online training has escalated, as a result of people not being able to perform services in person; this is an opportunity
  • #wellnessfornurses #wellnessfordoctors; we all need to care for the “first responders”; possibly create a way to offer services to the nurses and doctors; virtual sessions for stretching, yoga, meditation and more; boosting their immune system
  • Create a list of services available that people can perform—from online meditation to delivering groceries to those in need; the wellness community can come together for this
  • Continuing to sell retail, online, is one way to stay in business, and give people the products they still need
  • Many companies are retooling their manufacturing to make hand sanitizer, masks, gowns, etc.
  • Dealing with the psychology of panic, and helping people maintain their mental wellness
  • People are creating WhatsApp groups
  • Italians are having virtual dinner together; people are “getting together” on zoom, to have coffee together, lunch, dinner, cocktails, etc.; social connection being the primary objective
  • There is so much fake news, and this is the first pandemic with social media, so people need to be able to distinguish between real and fake information;
  • Regular, positive, upbeat short communications to your teams; emotions, happy faces, short quotes and messages; it’s very helpful at this stressful time
  • Get creative about how best to keep your staff working and engaged; lots of businesses in the spa arena who make products, rely on foreign suppliers, most of whom are not currently operating; that is a unique and difficult challenge
  • Spend time with family, virtually; stay connected; some are fortunate enough to be quarantined with family, but everyone has the opportunity to set up regular communications; make some of that fun—not just sharing of dire news, but a sense of play and positivity
  • Some cities have opened hotlines for people dealing with anxiety related to this virus
  • While some companies are closing, at least temporarily, others are looking for ways to stay in business, get creative and find ways to offer services to clients who still want to have access, but perhaps at home
  • Cannabis and wellness; research is being done to share about the benefits for immunity and also dealing with stress
  • When it comes to dealing with business issues, be transparent and decisive and don’t pretend things are better than they are; this honesty will help when tough choices have to be made about staffing, and people will appreciate that you have treated them with respect
  • Some hotels are able to move reservations to not lose the cash flow; others are willing to take a reduced rate for a booking, if the client doesn’t cancel; this helps retain staff and keeps the lights on
  • Medically speaking, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better; June seems to be a date people are talking about for some relief; people need to hunker down financially, emotionally and physically
  • The language around messaging is key; learn to pivot; look for creative opportunities; look at seasonality when it comes to properties and destinations; try to move bookings; reschedule if possible, don’t cancel
  • Have music as part of your virtual meetings; be creative and positive; infuse communications with a sense of hope, measured, appropriate, but not all doom and gloom; never give up
  • People are in survival mode now, but that will change, and the wellness world can be ready with education, information and tools
  • Lots of live streaming is going on of festivals, music, other gatherings; virtual participation; important to include those things in your life to balance the news
  • Gift cards are a way people are supporting individual businesses and therapists who deliver services; buying packages of treatments through gift cards offers some cash flow relief and supports individuals

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One thought on “Spa & Hospitality Takeaways”

  1. I appreciate your focus on authenticity and respect for the customer. Especially at a time like this, that’s the only way to survive and thrive.

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