The Link Between Wellness and Sustainability

By Andrew Cohan on February 29, 2016

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The Link Between Wellness and Sustainability. Andrew Cohan of Horwath HTL Miami, FL, USA has written the next in our series of Industry Reports. Andrew explores the connections between wellness and sustainability and uses this frame of reference to explain current trends in both soft programming and the physical design of resort hotel properties. This theme is a very relevant topic in the industry as more and more operators and owners work to include wellness and sustainability into new and current offerings. The prize for getting it right is the perfect mix of fantastic user experience and profitability.

Wellness and sustainability have very different definitions, but are often tied together in hospitality industry literature. In a foundational survey on wellness and its definition, conducted by Canyon Ranch, respondents most frequently associated the words hope, joy, and energy with wellness. These are words that are often used to describe travel and vacation experiences, especially vacations taken at resort properties. The full range of body, mind and spirit-enhancing activities constitute various dimensions of wellness. For example, one of the most popular wellness activities noted in a 2011 Values Study of Baby Boomers was simply “laughing with friends”.

In summary, the themes of sustainability, wellness and experiential travel have become closely intertwined as they are complementary aspects to increasingly demanded guest preferences. It appears that from the perspective of the hotel guest, what the leisure resort offers has moved well along the spectrum from an “escape for indulgence” to an “escape for vitality”. Hotel and resort management, consequently, must also transition their mission from one of spoiling guests with extravagance to one of providing a soothing and perhaps exotic canvas for guests via the physical environment, along with all of the necessary tools and programs with which guests can create their own desired experiences.

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About the author

Andrew Cohan