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The Wellness imperative: How hospitality and leisure can deliver what consumers want

The growing demand for health and wellness to be woven into every aspect of our daily lives represents an enormous opportunity for the hospitality and leisure industry.

Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality and Leisure, Barclays Corporate Banking, shares his insights into our latest research on how investing in wellness could future-proof the hospitality and leisure industry. Hear from Virgin Active and the Malvern Hotel and Spa on how they are responding to the cultural shift towards wellness.

Investing in wellness

We are living in a different world. There is no aspect of our lives today that has not been touched by the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown that followed. This life-changing event has caused all of us to re-examine and reassess our lives and for many people, this reboot is a chance for renewal.
 

People want to start afresh, leading healthier, happier lives with more accountability for our society’s welfare as well.

Mike Saul

Head of Hospitality and Leisure, Barclays

Our latest research looks at the importance for greater wellbeing, specifically the growing demand for health and wellness and the enormous potential it represents to the hospitality and leisure industry; offering the opportunity for new revenue streams and to strengthen customer satisfaction and loyalty.

By 2023, wellness offerings could add: £21.1bn to firms' annual revenue, £11.1bn added value to the UK economy.
31% or UK adults believe that health and wellness offerings should be included as standard.
22% said they intended to matake more UK breaks over the next 12 months.

Wellness practices (healthy habits) are a lifestyle route to an improved state of wellbeing... The decline in human wellbeing that is being witnessed so conspicuously at present means it is more coveted than ever.

Anni Hood

Chief Executive, Well Intelligence

Strategies for success

Hospitality and Leisure operators can future-proof their business by investing in the wellness imperative

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  • Reimagine your business

    Waiting for a return to normal will hinder your recovery plans. See the future as an era of reinvention, from leadership, strategy and values to products and services. For example, use facilities differently by running outdoor cinema nights on extensive grounds or adding takeaway services to supplement reduced table service for social distancing.

  • Communicate to build trust

    As restrictions continue, reassuring both customers and staff about their health and safety, as well as that societal good is considered alongside profits, will be essential. Educating customers in advance about the measures you have in place will generate good first impressions, but also reduce enquiries, reassure them that it is safe to visit and help them to follow your guidance.

  • Invest in technology

    Covid-19 and the sudden need to adapt operations has accelerated existing technology trends. Whether partnering on delivery or using in-house tech to help power bookings and harness big data for marketing, technology is a big part in the new normal. It is not only a sales channel, but a way to build meaningful connections with customers, build loyalty and drive longer-term spend.

  • Reach new audiences

    The trend for domestic tourism looks set to continue, but it’s not just hotels that can benefit. All venues in popular UK destinations need to think about new or growing audiences they might be able to attract.

  • Expect the unknown

    The pandemic is not over, and the full economic fallout is uncertain. The end of the Brexit transition period is fast approaching. The businesses that thrive will be those that build contingencies, access all support and talk to banks and financial advisers to solidify their financial position.

Case study: Virgin Active

As the world continues to experience a cultural shift towards wellness, it’s not surprising that leisure facilities like gyms and health clubs are growing businesses.

But even before the pandemic, the popularity of technology-enabled at-home fitness was on the rise. Then, like other face-to-face businesses, they were hit hard by the national lockdown, which also had the effect of spotlighting at-home fitness for those who could no longer attend the gym.

Read our case study to learn how Virgin Active not only faced the challenges of the pandemic, but also a new era of digital fitness.

Can innovation power business growth?

Virgin Active has taken a long-term idea to bring a digital dimension to gym membership and is accelerating that plan to meet customer expectations today.

Ashley Aylmer

UK Managing Director, Virgin Active

Can innovation power business growth?

It’s not just the technology that makes guests feel safer. It’s the procedures in place, the presence of the cleaning staff and the social distancing rules.

Huw Watson

Shareholder, Malvern Hotel and Spa

Case study: The Malvern Hotel and Spa

During the months that the UK was in national lockdown, the Malvern Hotel, a luxury spa venue in Worcestershire, did not rest on its laurels. Instead, it took the opportunity to prepare for guests’ return, refreshing decoration around the entire building and completely revamping its relaxation room. This same spirit of proactivity underpins its response to welcoming guests back to the hotel.

Read our case study to learn how the Malvern Hotel and Spa has responded proactively to the Covid-19 pandemic, accelerating long-term strategy for added value and focusing on customer service.

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